Emily Hollis, CFA
Anyone in our industry can tell you that, today, more members are being served by fewer credit unions. While the trend is toward greater consolidation, it’s not just larger credit unions merging in troubled ones. This shift is also occurring among healthy, equal-sized credit unions, as well as with those looking for a competitive edge. Half of the credit unions engaged in merging report that their primary motivation is to expand services to their members.
The Urge to Merge
In some situations, mergers are a matter of survival. In others, mergers of choice can make good sense. Doing business in today’s marketplace is more costly than ever: increased competition, tighter margins, and an ever-changing compliance landscape all impact the bottom line. By combining operations, credit unions are able to share resources, expand reach, broaden service offerings and improve member return.
Of course, there’s no doubt that many smaller credit unions can survive and thrive—especially those with strong sponsorship support. But for some, a better option might be to operate as part of a larger, more cost-efficient institution.