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Everything we do starts with research. At Filene Research Institute, we’re driven to learn what makes credit unions tick. And what could make them tick even better. We spend our days—and sometimes our nights—connecting with leaders from credit unions, academia, public policy, business, and technology to deliver the world’s best thinking and tools to stay competitive for credit unions and cooperative finance.

Latest Publications

Survey of Co-operative Capital

Capital underpins co-operatives. From financial institutions to fisheries, members come together to pool capital and do more together than they could alone. But the other side of the capital coin is that when co-operatives can’t get enough, because of either regulation or long-standing practice, they may get bogged down or fail to get off the...

7 Questions for Smart Outsourcing

Think back to the successful companies of the 20th century: GE, General Motors, IBM. The prevailing business model for the first two-thirds of the century was “a large integrated company that can ‘own, manage, and directly control’ its assets.” But as we hit the 1970s and 1980s, “integration” turned to...

Five Challenges: Enhancing Women’s Leadership in Credit Unions

Gender matters. Women feel more valued when working for a female CEO. Men feel more committed to the credit union when serving under another man. These and a thousand other gender nuances profoundly affect both sexes as they strive for leadership positions. For more than a year, Melissa Thomas-Hunt and Mahak Nagpal of the University of...

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Top Publications

The Consumer Experience: Financial Institution Preference and Usage Factors

Today's consumers confront a variety of banking options. Factors like personal trust, household income, and convenience all weigh, in different ways, on consumers' preferences between and among banks and credit unions. This report analyzes consumer survey data to better understand these usage factors and allows productive comparisons between institutions. The data...

Predicting Members’ Choice of Auto Lender: Borrowing from Credit Unions or Elsewhere?

In 2013, auto sales are creeping back toward pre-recession levels (2012 ended with 14.8 million units sold), which is helping credit unions bolster lending. The expanding market also opens up opportunities for growing market share. By unit volume, auto loans are still the largest piece of US credit unions’ lending portfolio. This research was designed...

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