eBrief: Trends in Retail Investment Program Revenue

Shifts in product revenue demonstrate the larger marketplace shifts in consumer investments.


In 2009, the financial markets began to bounce back from the historic downturn that began in October 2007. Credit union retail investment programs, for example, increased assets under management by 7% from December 2008, reaching $43.1 billion at year-end 2009. During the same period a year earlier, assets under management fell 20.3% from $50.4 billion in 2007 to $40.2 billion in 2008. Recognized revenue from the held assets has changed significantly over the past few years. The data presented here is from the annual Callahan/SCS Retail Investment Services Study and does not represent a direct year-over-year comparison; however, the overall trends indicate marketplace shifts. 

Revenue by Product Type

From Risk to Safety
A three-year trend of moving money to safer investments is clear when comparing reported revenue by product type.

  • Fixed annuity sales increased during the past three years and now represent 21.1% of total revenues to credit union retail investment programs as of year-end 2009. This is up from 6% in 2007 and 11.8% in 2008.
  • Mutual fund sales were 17.8% of revenue in 2009, down significantly from 24.1% in 2007.
  • The variable annuity share of revenue in 2007 stood at 42.2%. A year later the revenue from this product declined to 34.6% of total revenue with a more moderated decline to 31.4% as of year-end 2009.
  • Fee-Based/Advisory revenues continue to grow in all respects as credit unions expand their programs. By year-end 2009, this channel represented 11.2% of total revenues, up from 8.1% in 2007 and 10.8% in 2008. As revenue is paid quarterly for this channel and is based on assets under management, revenue increased despite lower account values. Continued growth in this revenue share is indicative of the overall channel’s growth.