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Credit Unions are Adding Branches
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 6:45 AM

Across the nation, the total number of credit union branches continues to increase for the second straight year following declines in the previous two years. According to SNL Financial, as of July 30, 2015, “there were 27 more branches opened than closed in 2015. In 2012 and 2013 combined, the industry lost a net of 241 branches.”

So far this year, Minnesota reflects the most net openings, with eight more branches opened than closed. Pennsylvania, has the most net closures, with 10 fewer branches now than at the beginning of 2015. The Cornerstone Credit Union League region, which has more credit union branches than any other league in the country (2,001), has experienced a net gain of four branches so far in 2015.

Ancin Cooley, principal with Synergy Bank Consulting, notes that as the cost of delivering mobile solutions falls, both banks and credit unions will be able to offer the same technology solutions to those they serve. Cooley believes the institutions that are closing branches because they are convinced mobile is the wave of the future are missing the benefits of having a physical presence. He explains metaphorically, “I deal with Apple primarily through my phone for small stuff like buying new music or paying for subscriptions. However, when I need something fixed or I need to make a big purchase I go to the store.” Cooley adds, “The data may suggest that millennials don’t like going into branches, but I’d say as they get older and life happens they are going to want a familiar face.”

For more information on services provided by the Cornerstone Research Department, please contact Rick Grady (rgrady@cornerstoneleague.coop) or Doug Foister (dfoister@cornerstoneleague.coop), or visit www.cornerstoneleague.coop/research.html.