The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about the credit union industry, stating their take on “How Credit Unions Outgrew Their Down-Home Reputation” and pointing to more rapid growth than the banking industry over the last decade. As a proud member of the credit union family and an advocate for our industry, we have a response to this claim.
Credit unions have not, nor will we ever, “outgrow” our community-centric focus.
The claim that credit unions have experienced fantastic growth over the last decade is true, and it is exciting for us and our members. However, it is important to have a strong understanding of what that means. While credit unions have grown substantially, due in part to our member- and community-first beliefs and practices, we are still only home to a fraction of all financial consumers.
The numbers don’t lie, and the credit union industry is certainly growing. According to the Credit Union National Association’s findings, there are nearly 120 million credit union members in the United States, up from 97 million 2013. We have grown as an industry from just over $1 Trillion in assets in 2013 to $1.5 Trillion in June 2019. However, when compared to the big banks, we are collectively still just a small part of the pie.
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