As credit unions expand their range of capabilities and services,
the decision to take on a business initiative by themselves or as
a participant in a multi-institution effort has strategic consequences
for their organizations. Issues that must be considered as part
of the evaluation process for such initiatives include:
- The importance of developing an internal knowledge base around
certain products, services or business models;
- The amount of control over the direction of the business that
is needed by the credit union;
- The capital necessary to deliver a product or service that can
meet both the short and long term objectives of the organization;
- The return and payback period hurdles that must be cleared in
order for it to be a worthwhile endeavor for the credit union.
While credit union executives may differ in the relative importance
they assign to these issues, ultimately the decision rests on which
strategy will have the most positive impact on their membership.
Going It Alone
According to the latest data published in Callahan's upcoming Directory
of Credit Union Cooperatives, there are over 600 wholly-owned
CUSOs. For these credit unions going it alone, the most popular
services offered to members are Investment Services and Insurance
Services with Mortgage Processing following in a distant third place.
The graph below depicts this breakdown of services offered.