Retaining Local Financial Access

Support for communities facing consolidation

Across the country, financial institutions are consolidating and leaving communities with fewer banking options. When community banks go up for sale, credit unions are increasingly providing the strongest purchase proposals. That’s because those proposals make sense from many perspectives:

  • Communities retain access to locally focused financial partners.
  • Bankers and investors can ensure the strongest sale value.
  • Staff is typically retained at higher rate than bank competitors.
  • Members (former bank customers) gain access to more branches and additional services and appreciate a mission-driven institution that puts their needs ahead of profits.

Simply, it benefits everyone when community bankers have access to every possible buyer.

A growing number of community bankers are turning to credit unions to continue serving their communities.

A mission to serve

Congress has charged credit unions with a mission to promote thrift and provide access to credit for provident purposes.1 To deliver on that mission, credit unions are structured as not-for-profit cooperatives that return earnings to members rather than remote investors.

It’s this people-over-profit model that continues to earn credit unions their tax-exempt status from Congress. It’s also the model that continues to earn credit unions recognition as the best financial partners in consumer polls.

A minor trend with major benefits

Since 2012, $1.77 trillion in bank assets have been merged. Credit unions account for less than $6.5 billion of those mergers—just 0.3% of the merged assets.

Furthermore, banks have sold to other banks more than 2,000 times since 2012, but fewer than 40 times to credit unions.

Yet despite this, the 155,000 former bank customers now served by credit unions saw roughly $25 million in accrued financial benefit in 2019 alone.2

What we’ve told Lawmakers & Regulators

CUNA & MWCUA Send letter to Colorado Banking Board re: Cache Bank & Trust Application to Operate as a National Bank

On January 15, CUNA and the Mountain West Credit Union Association wrote to the Colorado Banking Board in support of Cache Bank & Trust Application to Operate as a National Bank.

Read the letter here

Learn more about this issue

112 U.S. Code § 1752


The bottom line—Having all options available allows small banks to provide stronger financial outcomes for customers and communities.