Top 100 Credit Unions Deliver Leading Member Value

While size and scale help the largest credit unions, growth is not guaranteed. It is how they leverage their scale to gain greater efficiencies that translate to higher member value.


The top 100 credit unions at year-end 2006 posted strong results that reflect their efforts to use their scale to deliver superior member value.  These leading credit unions finished the year serving over 22.6 million members, up 5.0% from year-end 2005.  Assets of $255.0 billion represent 35% of the industry’s total.

Balance sheet growth continues to be solid for the top 100 as a whole.  The loan portfolio grew 11.7% while the share portfolio rose 8.4% during the year.  Both results exceed industry averages of 7.8% and 4.2%, respectively.  The top 100’s growth results are somewhat skewed due to the merger of the 12 State Farm credit unions into State Farm Great Lakes, which is now a member of the top 100 with assets of $2.8 billion.  The two other additions to the group are Texas Dow Employees ($1.1B) and Affinity Plus (MN, $1.1B).  To see the complete list, click here.

Although the growth results are solid for the group as a whole, the results of individual credit unions reflect the growth challenge faced across the industry.  Share growth at thirty of the top 100 credit unions was below the industry average, and fourteen of the top 100 posted a decline in membership.

Efficiencies Result in Greater Member Value
The growth of these credit unions is not simply due to their scale, but how they leverage their scale to gain greater efficiencies that translate to higher member value.  The table below shows the business model of the top 100 compared to the average of all credit unions. 

Not surprisingly, the top 100’s operating expense ratio is 71 basis points lower than the average credit union as economies of scale are realized.  This difference is primarily returned to members, who see more competitive loan and share rates as reflected in a net interest margin that is 50 basis points lower than the average credit union.  In addition, the top 100 are less reliant on non interest income.

As a % of Avg. Assets

Top 100

All CUs

Net Interest Margin



Non Interest Income



Provision for Loan Loss



Operating Expenses



Return on Assets



The higher ROA of the top 100 helps these credit unions continue to invest in products and delivery channels that will enhance member service, as well as ensure a strong 10.5% net worth ratio.




March 26, 2007


  • The top 100 aren''t the only ones delivering member value. It''s interesting - but not surprising - to see the differing business models. Good analysis, thanks.
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