Cooperative Strategy


By E.C. Harrison | Oct. 21, 2019

With credit union acquisitions of banks on the rise, the ABA has gone on the offensive. Sound CU shares why its recent purchase of The Bank of Washington makes good business sense and its strategies for onboarding former bank customers, employees, loans, and more.

By Sharon Simpson | Aug. 12, 2019

A Mid-Atlantic service organization has spent five years making scale work for smaller organizations. Now, it’s looking to help other institutions take advantage of cooperative banking.

By Marc Rapport | Dec. 3, 2018

A veteran Alabama CEO shares how a credit union integrated merged members into the core processing system at their new credit union.


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By Sharon Simpson | June 11, 2018

As more credit unions opt to expand their operations via bank acquisitions, best practices and solid advice emerge.

By Marc Rapport | Feb. 26, 2018

Eight mergers in 11 years helped this Michigan credit union develop best practices in mapping core data during a conversion.

By Liz Furman | July 24, 2017

Deciding whether, and with whom, to merge can be tricky. Use this list to spark conversations that will lead to a deeper understanding of the benefits, drawbacks, and other implications.

By Callahan & Associates | May 15, 2017

How Abbey Credit Union wowed a fellow local financial cooperative with forward-looking performance analysis.

By Marc Rapport | April 24, 2017

Gas & Electric Credit Union in Rock Island, IL, has set the standard for transparent transactions that ensure any movement on a merger is for the members’ sake.

By Rebecca Wessler | April 17, 2017

Disruption avoidance, the state of mergers, and what’s on the agenda for 2017. All this and more in this year’s report.

By Sharon Simpson | April 17, 2017

Thinking of buying a bank? Check out these best practices and insights from credit unions in the know.

By Erik Payne | Feb. 20, 2017

How Texas Trust’s approach to lending, technology, and convenience paved the path to asset growth.

By Erik Payne | Jan. 16, 2017

Public Service Credit Union shares lesson gleaned from completing two mergers and one assumption in four months.

By Marc Rapport | Dec. 5, 2016

A California credit union finds focusing on mission helps culture follow technology.

By Erik Payne | Oct. 28, 2016

How the Wyoming institution takes in stride the booms and busts of a mineral-based economy.

By Erik Payne | July 2, 2015

Reducing compliance costs can save credit unions thousands of dollars annually and help smaller institutions remain independent.

By Erik Payne | June 29, 2015

First United Credit Union offers insight into how to maximize the benefits of shared staffing.

By Marc Rapport | May 11, 2015

Credit union merger veterans share their experience and best practices for merging core processing systems and people.

By Erik Payne | May 11, 2015

One Montana credit union relies on transparency and open communication to assimilate new employees gained through a merger.

By Susan Levi Wallach | May 11, 2015

The formation of Lake Trust Credit Union in 2010 presented challenges and opportunities in seamlessly integrating the upper tiers of credit union management.

By Drew Grossman | Nov. 17, 2014

Employee interviews, a town hall meeting, and merger buddies helped 1st MidAmerica build a template for future mergers.

By Aaron Pugh | Nov. 17, 2014

Honor Credit Union formed an independent executive team to build on the knowledge of merged staff members and succeed in a new market.

By Marc Rapport | Nov. 17, 2014

When ISUCU merged with a smaller credit union and adopted its core, it learned lasting lessons about data, internal champions, and anticipating member reaction.

By Drew Grossman | Sept. 1, 2014

A three-way merger results in a new institution that all three cooperatives will help create.

By Aaron Pugh | Sept. 1, 2014

These best practices will ensure your next merger won’t be your last.

By Sharon Simpson | Aug. 27, 2014

Why it is important to offer employees and members timely information in one accessible place.

By Erik Payne | June 27, 2014

How one state-chartered institution joined forces with a bank, opened the doors to a new generation of business acquisitions, and preserved an important Baltimore tradition.

By Erik Payne | April 9, 2014

The ANATOMY series is a quarterly, multi-feature profile that explores the strategies and analyzes the performance of an exemplary credit union.

By Erik Payne | Nov. 18, 2013

Space Coast Credit Union looks for the underlying problems that cause dissatisfied members.

By Chip Filson | July 23, 2013

Opportunity for credit union owners of Members United and Southwest to recover some of the losses on portfolios.

By Drew Grossman | July 22, 2013

Combining three institutions within three years has given Directions Credit Union a veteran’s perspective on mergers.

By Mark Reed | July 22, 2013

An examination of the planned merger of Pioneer and Capital credit unions in Wisconsin.

By Aaron Pugh | July 22, 2013

Pathways demonstrates how mergers can be an asset for small and midsized credit unions.

By Sharon Simpson | July 22, 2013

Prepare staff for the possibility of a merger to ease fears when it happens.

By Member Loyalty Group LLC | May 20, 2013

Learn what your credit union can do to rebound and preserve member loyalty before, during, and after a strategic transition.

By Drew Grossman | April 15, 2013

Corporate credit unions pool resources and create economies of scale to help member credit unions succeed.

By Drew Grossman | March 20, 2013

Collaboration, local leadership, and a little autonomy help one credit union overcome cultural differences after a merger.

By Chip Filson | Feb. 11, 2013

As the leadership team recovers from the initial shock of losing their core sponsor, Chip Filson sees future options as a source of excitement and a time to rekindle the team’s passion.

By Brooke C. Stoddard | Feb. 11, 2013

To help all credit unions that have faced losing a sponsor, 5 consultants respond to the challenge faced by Circle-W Credit Union in this theoretical case study.

By Tony Ward-Smith | Feb. 11, 2013

Tony Ward-Smith believes merging is one option, but if your people have a strong sense of what the role of a credit union should be in what has become a very competitive, very challenging market, go for it alone!

By David Birky | Oct. 15, 2012

A rebranding effort has to be driven by values, so find out what similarities make the credit unions stand out in their communities.

By Pier Alsup | Oct. 15, 2012

Concentrate on four key merger elements that take into account all stakeholders.

By Brooke C. Stoddard | Oct. 15, 2012

A Midwestern credit union needs to appeal to a growing community membership but doesn’t want to alienate its long-time SEGs that represent the heart of the institution.

By Aaron Pugh | Sept. 17, 2012

How three separate, well-performing Ohio credit unions identified an opportunity to grow collectively, while keeping their local identities intact.

By Aaron Pugh | Sept. 17, 2012

Sharing resources and leadership among separate credit unions and brand-aware merger partners creates scale without isolating a localized membership base.

By Brooke C. Stoddard | Aug. 25, 2012

The credit union charter saved an ailing Indiana bank, retained local ownership, and assuaged community concerns regarding employment and sustainability.

By Rebecca McClay | Aug. 20, 2012

Creating new compensation program during a merger requires more than picking and choosing the best elements from two plans.

By Aaron Pugh | June 4, 2012

Three Ohio credit unions are using a proactive staffing strategy during their merger.

By Lydia Cole | Feb. 13, 2012

Some credit unions seem to have been destined to be partners for life, while others found they just couldn’t take the plunge.

By Rebecca McClay | Dec. 19, 2011

The New York-based credit union has an “aggressive” incentive program that Brenda Carhart, senior vice president of lending for Empower, says has paid off.

By Aaron Pugh | Dec. 5, 2011

After gaining 11 branches and numerous financial relationships from a local bank, Royal Credit Union hit the ground running.

By Brooke C. Stoddard | Dec. 5, 2011

Lake Trust Credit Union uses the Carver Policy Governance model in its strategic planning, which tasks the CEO with interpreting the Board’s goals and putting the staff to work on achieving them.

By Lydia Cole | Nov. 28, 2011

A credit union undergoes a merger to improve both itself and its members’ standing.

By Aaron Pugh | Sept. 5, 2011

A Michigan-based institution walks the line between local appeal and national opportunity.

By Aaron Pugh | July 2, 2011

Credit unions with a local commitment and a national eye can learn a lot from United Federal's example of growth.

By Rebecca Wessler | May 9, 2011

Diligent oversight and superior rates help this Iowa credit union raise its ROM.

By Rebecca Wessler | April 1, 2011

A mid-size credit union uses the cooperative spirit and financial savvy to succeed.

By Alix Patterson | April 1, 2011

Year-end performance metrics highlight areas of strength and opportunity for credit unions of all sizes in all regions.

By Aaron Pugh | Feb. 3, 2011

Want to make a bigger impact on the communities you serve? Look – and listen – to your employees.

By Aaron Pugh | Jan. 1, 2011

Credit unions are positioning themselves to acquire new locations and expand their branch footprint, all without sacrificing their cooperative values.

By Aaron Pugh | Jan. 1, 2011

A look at institutions advancing the brand footprint across regional and geographic boundaries.

By Callahan & Associates | Jan. 1, 2011

There's no road map for starting a CUSO, but these tips from the CURoots brain trust will keep you focused on what matters.

By Rebecca Wessler | Dec. 15, 2010

Security Service Federal Credit Union is very good at entering and managing multiple markets. Learn more in this multi-feature series.

By Rebecca Wessler | June 15, 2010

Community First Credit Union keeps its focus on community members in and outside of the cooperative.

By Callahan & Associates | April 1, 2010

The collective performance of America's 7,710 credit unions in 2009 showed the public why they were granted a separate and distinct operating charter in 1934.

By Lydia Cole | March 15, 2010

What will this $5 billion credit union look like? We explore financial, operational, and member metrics.

By ALM First Financial Advisors | Jan. 4, 2010

Given today’s economic challenges and stringent regulatory environment, it’s no wonder many credit unions are considering mergers. Whether it’s mergers of necessity or mergers of choice to better serve members, the process to combine credit unions has undergone substantial changes.

By Lydia Cole | Jan. 1, 2010

The results from late 2008 merger activity can be seen through the lens of one marketplace: Washington State. Plus an infographic: Deposit Market Share Distribution of Performance by State

By Callahan & Associates | Oct. 5, 2009

Credit union mergers increased slightly compared to the first half of 2008.

By Alix Patterson | Oct. 5, 2009

Pluots, grapples and tangelos are just three examples of exotic hybrid fruits created by adventuresome farmers. What do they have in common with credit unions? Sometimes merging the culture of two very different organizations can create a unique beast like these.

By Callahan & Associates | Oct. 1, 2009

The February 2009 release of the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index shows credit unions among the national leaders in customer service. Credit unions collectively scored an 84 out of 100 on the survery, whereas banks scored a 75.

By Callahan & Associates | Oct. 1, 2009

As the economic downturn continues, many financial institutions have adopted conservative policies toward the management and expansion of their branch networks.

By Lydia Cole | Sept. 29, 2009

The negative economic environment and NCUA's recent actions on the Corporate Network are impacting bottom lines and capital levels, contributing to an increased interest in mergers.

By ALM First Financial Advisors | Sept. 21, 2009

Given the recession and today’s stringent regulatory environment, it’s no wonder credit unions are merging. But new accounting rules have introduced new complexities for merging credit unions.

By Randy Karnes | Aug. 3, 2009

Industry professionals are simply not on the same page about whether or not credit union mergers are the most effective way to take our industry forward. Randy Karnes compares two philosophical approaches to credit union ‘combinations’: the Consolidation Model and the Alliance-Building Model.

By Michael J. Sacher | May 4, 2009

This article is part 2 of the series addressing the most common questions regarding the Acquisition method and provides appropriate perspective to the senior management team who might not be well grounded in accounting for business combinations under SFAS 141-R.

By Michael J. Sacher | April 27, 2009

As of Dec. 15, 2008, all credit unions undergoing a merger are required to use the Acquisition Method of accounting. This article addresses the most common questions regarding the Acquisition method and provides appropriate perspective to the senior management team who might not be well grounded in accounting for business combinations under SFAS 141-R.

By Callahan & Associates | April 1, 2009

Credit unions outstanding customer service and their suite of products can be a better way of evaluating branches

By Teri Hoffman | Jan. 12, 2009

Bank mergers and acquisitions, both large and small, provide a crucial opportunity for increasing membership and deposits in credit unions, as typically twenty percent of the disappearing bank's deposits will change financial institutions within a year.

By Brooke C. Stoddard | Dec. 1, 2008

In the short-term, Mountain America's ROA plunges but the merger that caused it looks like a long-term winner.

By Lydia Cole | Oct. 20, 2008

Turmoil in the financial world can churn up deposits as consumers transfer funds to minimize losses or liquidate investments. Other influencing factors include mergers and failures in the financial industry. These shake-ups can have lasting regional consequences.

By John Fenton | Oct. 6, 2008

Now is not the time to argue over what is the best structure for a new trade association; now is the time for our existing associations to work together to ensure that credit unions have the regulatory tools they need to survive and continue to serve their members’ needs in this time of economic uncertainty.

By Chris Tissue | Oct. 6, 2008

Hear about the latest industry merger activity in this short clip.

By Mike Werstuik | June 9, 2008

How can the combination of two large companies relate to credit union mergers? It comes down to the effect mergers have on employees.

By Mike Werstuik | May 19, 2008

In 2007, 246 credit unions were merged. Why are these credit unions merging and how do you best analyze a merger partner to ensure the best possible outcome?

By Shawn Birch | Nov. 5, 2007

Most merger stories are told from the point of view of the CEO, the point of view of strategy and overview. Not this one.

By Micki Milonas | July 23, 2007

A student-run credit union could not offer the high-tech products demanded by today's university students. A community credit union took it over, retained its identity and gave it the technology it needed.

By David Barton | July 9, 2007

No one wanted a one-office credit union in a Latino church. Then Gateway Metro did, maintained the small credit union's identity and spurred improvements. Moreover, Gateway Metro gained a younger population of members.

By Shawn Birch | July 2, 2007

A merger story from the trenches.

By Shawn Birch | July 2, 2007

The first in our 4-part first-person series: One woman’s account of how she orchestrated a $700 million merger in under 3 months—while working from home 300 miles away from the credit union headquarters.

By Chip Filson | April 30, 2007

Wings' wake-up call to the industry has ignited emotions, provoked comment, and resulted in league resolutions in opposition. While the prevailing sentiment is that hostile takeovers are inconsistent with the cooperative credit union model, have critics addressed the key issue raised by Wings?

Partner Perspective
The Death of Collaboration

By Mortgage Cadence | April 9, 2007

By ignoring our most significant point of differentiation, we manage to do what our opponents in the banking community could not.

By Tom Geggel | Nov. 27, 2006

The number of credit union mergers is increasing every year. Find out how merger activity fared in the first nine months of 2006.

By Melanie El-Sabaawi | June 26, 2006

The proposed sale of Nationwide FCU to a bank will force members to choose between their mutual interests and that of their employer.

By Brad Myers | March 20, 2006

Although every merger situation is unique, we have identified five prerequisites for achieving a successful merger negotiation.

By Brad Myers | Feb. 27, 2006

Over the past two years, there has been roughly one credit union merger a day. According to conversations with a number of credit union CEOs, there are five reasons to consider a merger

By Tom Geggel | Feb. 13, 2006

There were 302 approved mergers in 2005. How did merger activity compare to 2004?

By Randy Karnes | Feb. 6, 2006

CU to bank conversions are getting personal and it may end up hurting those on both sides of the bank conversion argument.  

By Chip Filson | Nov. 21, 2005

Credit unions must think beyond the merger paradigm to deliver superior member value. Creativity in organizational structures may be just as important as innovation in products and services.

By Ed Callahan | June 6, 2005

Ed Callahan and Bucky Sebastian discuss that struggling credit unions should seek merger partners sooner rather than later so that members are not lost to the movement nor resources wasted.

By Melissa Murphy | May 23, 2005

A recent three-part investigative report by The Philadelphia Inquirer revealed that the IGA Federal Credit Union merger was in motion before the official conversion.

By Tom Geggel | March 28, 2005

There were 326 mergers in 2004 but how do credit unions evaluate merger partners? Credit union executives highlight three key issues they consider when planning a merger.

By Callahan & Associates | Feb. 28, 2005

Imagine three credit union CEOs with a bold vision for their future. By combining the resources of their thriving institutions, they will deploy huge leaps in member value. Routine? Today maybe. Not in 1994.

By Sara Wolfe | Feb. 21, 2005

As witnessed recently, proposed mergers always create a stir. But what happens with the newly-unified credit union after the frenzy dies down?

By Dennis Pierce | Feb. 14, 2005

In his own words, Dennis Pierce, CEO of Community America, describes the rationale and strategy behind a credit union merger.

By Joe James | June 21, 2004

Over the past 5 ½ years there have been approximately 1,411 mergers. We have compiled these mergers by year and by asset size. (Note the data was assembled at the time of the merger approval-some of the financial data may be slightly different at the actual merger date.)

By Callahan & Associates | June 1, 1998

There is a lot of shifting going on in the financial services field. Citicorp's merger with Travelers and banking legislation moving through the Congress are only two manifestations of an industry in turbulence. In these times, it is all too easy to get caught up in the details and not appreciate some of the larger developments. One that is especially telling is what is happening to charters.