WASHINGTON (3/17/15)--A new report by CUNA, the National Credit Union Foundation, the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA CLUSA), and the Filene Research Institute spells out the mutual economic benefits credit unions and all types of cooperatives can gain by creating partnerships with each other.
The CUNA Cooperatives Alliances Committee report shows that non-financial cooperatives, such as those related to utilities or the farming industry, would benefit greatly by calling on credit unions for their credit and financial service needs.
"As leaders in their communities, credit unions are a natural fit to work with other cooperatives," said Jim Nussle, CUNA president/CEO. "We share a common set of business principles that guide our work for the betterment of our members and community."
Roughly 35% of credit unions serve community fields of memberships (FOMs), which means they can readily accept cooperatives as members, and both as borrowers or depositors.
Though even those without community FOMs can often accept cooperatives as members depending on their membership groups.
"Credit unions are not financial institutions that happen to be cooperatives," said Mark Cummins, president/CEO, Minnesota Credit Union Network, and chair of CUNA's Cooperative Alliances Committee. "This report shows that credit unions and other cooperatives are natural business partners and would greatly benefit from working together."
Filene announced the results of the study, which was funded by a grant from the foundation, at a breakout session during CUNA's Governmental Affairs Conference last week. Credit union leaders also discussed how they can follow up on the report, which covered subjects such as:
"This is about quantifying the business opportunity between credit unions and co-ops," said Mike Beall, president/CEO, NCBA CLUSA. "It's a 'no-brainer' for credit unions to ask for co-ops' deposits and loans, and a 'no-brainer' for co-ops to make the switch to credit unions from banks."