It seems that while we and everyone else in the credit union movement were busy growing existing credit unions, it slowly became incredibly difficult to start a new credit union. At the same time, it has also become easier and far more common for credit unions to disappear via mergers.
The stats are staggering: over 2,200 credit unions have disappeared in the last 10 years, including 122 so far this year. But only three new charters have been approved this year.
In fact, during the whole decade from 2010-2019, only 21 new credit unions were chartered.
What’s the problem?
There are a couple of serious problems with this status quo. Any industry or movement that cannot grow by adding new players, and only shrinks through consolidation, cannot survive long-term. Credit unions are here for us, and they’ll be here for our children, but will they be here for their children?
And even in 2021, there are many different groups of people who are not well-served by existing credit unions or other financial institutions. In addition, technology has enabled new, cost-effective ways to reach and serve new kinds of communities.
That’s why de novo (new) credit unions are still needed, now more than ever. It benefits everyone, even large established CUs, and the credit union movement as a whole, to have a vibrant, inclusive, diverse, and growing movement where all consumers can find their financial “home”.
The time is right, and the time is ripe to revitalize the early entrepreneurial spirit of the credit union movement in new ways.
Here’s how we’re helping
The Credit Union De Novo Collective is a group of credit union true believers, movers, shakers, and superfans who have been meeting regularly to help shepherd several de novo CU initiatives along the winding path from concept to credit union.
But the CU De Novo Collective needed help in order to amplify their voices and take action. We knew we had to get involved, so we decided to donate their new website “clubhouse” and a branding system that reflects excitement and revolution.
We’re proud to announce the launch of https://www.cudenovocollective.org, the new online home for the Credit Union De Novo Collective.
Here’s how you can help
The CU De Novo Collective hopes to spark a revolution within the credit union movement where new credit unions can be formed more easily to serve new and existing communities in exciting new ways.https://www.cudenovocollective.org/