Jan 08 2019

The Credit Union of the Twenty-First Century


This report begins the process of reimagining the 1934 Federal Credit Union Act and aligns the credit union manifesto with twenty-first-century norms—economic, social, and technological—so that credit unions can envision how they can transform to meet the needs of consumers in the future.

Taylor C. Nelms
Taylor C. Nelms
Senior Director, Research
Filene Research Institute
Stephen C. Rea
Stephen C. Rea
Research Assistant Professor
Colorado School of Mines
Report Number 459

Executive Summary

As we approach the Federal Credit Union Act’s centennial in 2034, the role of credit unions in providing secure, fair access to financial services, especially for individuals of small and moderate means, remains as important as ever. 

Yet, while many of the socioeconomic factors that drove the credit union system in the last century remain salient, more recent changes—especially technological innovations that have fundamentally changed how financial institutions interact with consumers—encourage us to reimagine the role that credit unions will play in the United States’ financial services landscape over the next decades.