CUNA’s Small Credit Union Committee published a comprehensive white paper Tuesday examining the key opportunities and challenges facing small credit unions. The State of Small Credit Unions Today outlines how cross-industry support can lead to greater collaboration at all asset levels and provides recommendations for the preservation of small credit unions nationwide.
“Small credit unions are serving members and communities in extraordinary ways and play a vital role in helping sustain the credit union movement,” said Greg Michlig, CUNA chief engagement officer. “As this paper demonstrates, for every challenge facing small credit unions, there is a solution that we can provide through system-wide collaboration.”
The paper builds on research from a 2001 Small Credit Union Committee report which served as a roadmap to preserve and strengthen the small credit union model.
“We all run credit unions all over this country that mean a whole heck of a lot to our members,” said Dale Hansard, president/CEO, Caprock FCU, and chair of the Small Credit Union Committee. “I’d contend we are more relevant now to the needs of our members than we’ve ever been before. The problem is that the operating environment keeps moving the goal posts for us on how we’re allowed to serve our members, and that continuous pinch and the shifting requirements means smaller shops just need an extra boost to keep doing this much-needed work. It’s on us as small credit unions to adapt, without question, but as we point out in the white paper, the whole movement has a stake in what happens to our smallest institutions. And we hope folks will stop and listen.”
Top takeaways from this report include:
The paper includes key figures and data to support investing in small credit unions and to raise awareness of the significant challenges they face.
“Contrary to conventional wisdom, small credit unions are efficient, growing and diverse,” said Tom Sakash, CUNA manager of small credit union initiatives. “As the financial services landscape continues to expand, the credit union movement needs a deeper understanding of the role small institutions play so that we can sustain our cooperative, not-for-profit structure.”
The CUNA Small Credit Union Committee will begin to identify which recommendations it will act on and develop resources to address major challenges facing small credit unions.