RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (3/7/13)--CO-OP Shared Branching network has reached 5,000 "live teller" branch locations nationwide, just over three years after reaching 4,000 in February 2010.
"Shared branching is one of the best examples we can show potential members that credit unions really are different from banks," said Stan Hollen, CO-OP Financial Services president/CEO. "Through the cooperative spirit of credit unions we have assembled a network leapfrogging all but the very largest banks in terms of convenient access to a branch almost anywhere in the country."
The 5,000 branch locations gives the credit union system the fourth largest branch network with teller service, trailing three national banks--Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase, CO-OP said. CO-OP's records show Wells Fargo at 6,382 branches, Bank of America at 5,916 and Chase at 5,833.
Members of nearly 1,800 credit unions that participate in CO-OP Shared Branching can enter any branch and conduct their business as if they were at their own credit union. CO-OP estimates that if all 7,000-plus U.S.-based credit unions participated in shared branching, the industry's network of shared branching locations would total 20,519 branches.
The rapid growth of CO-OP Shared Branching during the past three years accelerated in 2012, after a merger of CO-OP Financial Services and Financial Service Centers Cooperative Inc., which became effective in January 2012. At that time, 502 branches were added to CO-OP Shared Branching.