Skip to Navigation | Skip to Content

Research Reports

Research is our middle name. Dig in! Our library holds 25 years of research with the goal of identifying what comes next for credit unions and financial consumers.

Cooperation among Cooperatives

Cooperation among Cooperatives

Quantifying the Business Case for Credit Unions and Other Cooperatives Credit unions have many cousins. In 2014, cooperatives’ assets in the United States totaled $1,754 billion (B) including (1) $346 B in non-financial cooperatives, (2) $1,126 B in credit unions, and (3) $282 B in other financial cooperatives that were...

Survey of Co-operative Capital

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

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

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...

The Personal Touch: Optimizing Feedback Loops in Financial Services

The Personal Touch: Optimizing Feedback Loops in Financial Services

Perhaps no industry in the world collects more consumer data than financial institutions. Banks and credit unions know where, when, and how often consumers spend money and how much they spend. They have intimate knowledge of account balances, borrowing trends, and aggregate spending patterns. They can know when consumers have...

Blueprints for Innovation: The Latest Concepts from Filene i3, Fall 2014

Blueprints for Innovation: The Latest Concepts from Filene i3, Fall 2014

If you look at a graph representing the number of credit unions in the United States over the past decade, you’ll notice it closely resembles the downward slope of a double black diamond ski run. By most accounts, this decline can be attributed to the difficulty many small credit unions...

Student Lending: Challenges and Opportunities for Credit Unions

Student Lending: Challenges and Opportunities for Credit Unions

College graduation brings joy. It also comes with a price—a very expensive one. This is especially true for those students who rely on loans to finance their college tuition, books, and housing. In fact, the average borrower will graduate with $26,600 of student debt.  While federal and private student lending programs expand access to college for many...

Leeflet: Reducing Costs and Enhancing Marketing Through Electronic Brochures

Leeflet: Reducing Costs and Enhancing Marketing Through Electronic Brochures

Marketing has always been a challenge for small to mid-size credit unions. Cost of compliance and other noninterest expenses consume resources that could be dedicated todeveloping in house IT solutions. The average credit union can spend $50,000/year on paper brochures. Originally a Filene i3 idea and tested at Smart Financial, Financial Center FCU,...

Banking on Healthcare: The Credit Union Business Opportunity

Banking on Healthcare: The Credit Union Business Opportunity

As credit unions struggle to increase interest and noninterest income, they look wistfully at industries like healthcare, where revenue growth continues apace. America spends about 17% of GDP on healthcare, a percentage that has grown from about 14% in 2000 and 7% in 1970. The industry-wide move to electronic health records (EHRs) means that credit unions...

CUCC Login COBA Login