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We are dedicated to scientific and thoughtful analysis about issues vital to the future of credit unions and consumer finance.


Through independent research and analysis, Filene Research Institute explores issues vital to the future of credit unions and consumer finance.

We are a channel through which leading scholars and thinkers analyze managerial problems, public policy questions, and consumer needs for the benefit of credit unions and financial consumers everywhere.

We were founded on the core values inherent in credit union philosophy. Our founders and our leaders today believe that research and new ideas are critical tools for understanding how:

  • Cooperation can help people achieve their goals.
  • More people can gain economic independence.
  • Better communities can be built in the spirit of mutual self-help.
  • Volunteerism can shape financial institutions that better respond to the needs of households.


Our name honors Edward A. Filene, the father of the US credit union movement. Mr. Filene spent over $1 million of his personal fortune spreading the credit union message because he saw credit unions as the future source of financial services for working Americans and their families. Filene Research Institute’s founders recognized that if credit unions were to provide such financial services in an increasingly competitive marketplace, it would take a similar commitment to the future from hundreds of individuals and organizations.

"He was a prophet who perceived the true meaning of these changing times. He was an analyst who was able, by mathematical calculation, to make it plain to us that our modern mechanism of abundance cannot be kept in operation unless the masses of our people are enabled to live abundantly. He believed in learning, and in searching out the way of human progress.” - President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Presidential Tribute to our namesake, Edward A. Filene