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Research Reports

Research is our middle name. Members of Filene receive immediate, unlimited access to 25 years of research with the goal of identifying what comes next for credit unions and financial consumers. Dig in! 

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Enhancing Savings Behaviors of Low- to Middle- Income Families

Enhancing Savings Behaviors of Low- to Middle- Income Families

Managing personal finances is challenging and complex. We all make a great many financial decisions every day, often without thinking deeply about them. But virtually every one of them represents a tradeoff of some kind. Of course, if we were purely rational beings, with infinite time to weigh and evaluate every decision we...

The Embedded Credit Union Model for Low-Income Teens

The Embedded Credit Union Model for Low-Income Teens

A systemic problem in many low-income, urban communities is the lack of accessible financial services. Low-income teenagers-in particular-are living in financial service deserts. Not only are there very few banks and/or credit unions in low-income communities, financial alternatives such as payday loan and check-cashing centers are thriving. This research explores the...

Jump-Starting Performance Improvement: A Case Study from Elevations Credit Union

Jump-Starting Performance Improvement: A Case Study from Elevations Credit Union

A sustainable credit union seals operational gaps and streamlines service to members. After all, members are the most important factor in this equation. A consistent process improvement program helps achieve this ideal state of exemplary member loyalty, financial growth, and operational efficiency that so many organizations long for.  This report...

National Banking Preferences

National Banking Preferences

Everyone values something different in their banking relationship. For some its rates and fees while for others its service location and product choice. Consumer banking preferences are shaped by a variety of personal factors such as income level and age. We conducted a national survey of 985 respondents to get...

Blockchain beyond Bitcoin: Insights for Credit Unions

Blockchain beyond Bitcoin: Insights for Credit Unions

Cyber attacks. Silk Road and the theft of bitcoins on early digital exchanges. State and federal regulations built for a world of fiat currency. Barriers to the legal adoption and deployment of money built on distributed ledgers produced by cryptographic-strength algorithms are real and evolving. Credit unions are, at their...

Designing Credit Union Culture for High Performance

Research has shown that "stronger" cultures are associated with better organizational performance in terms of measures like ROI, net income, sales growth, and cash flow. Strong cultures are those that are well defined and marked by positive behaviors.  In this Center of Excellence for Organizational Entrepreneurship report, Filene Research Fellow...

Consumer Borrowing Preferences and Confidence

Consumer Borrowing Preferences and Confidence

Consumer borrowing is an important macroeconomic measure because it parallels consumer spending and serves as important measure of consumer confidence and health.  Loan growth is also of the most important drivers of sustainability for credit unions who depend principally on consumer lending and mortgage lending for the majority of their...

Cybersecurity: Credit Unions in the Crosshairs

Cybersecurity: Credit Unions in the Crosshairs

Cybersecurity is a top-of-mind priority for credit unions of every size. But how can credit unions with limited budgets beat back an attack when some of the world’s largest organizations and governments have succumbed?  That question brought together credit unions and security experts from around the country at a Filene Research Institute–hosted colloquium...

Young Adults In The Military

Young Adults In The Military

Those serving in the armed forces play an honorable role in protecting their country.  Unfortunately the financial profiles of these men and women differ from everyday civilians'.  Young adults in the U.S. military face unique financial challenges and are primed for credit union assistance. In this infographic we explore the...

Financial Soundness of Canadian Credit Unions

Financial Soundness of Canadian Credit Unions

This study challenges an emerging narrative in Canada that credit unions might pose a risk to financial stability because they are not overseen by Canada’s federal regulator, which, rightly or wrongly, has been credited with helping keep large Canadian banks out of trouble. The study does so by assembling simple,...

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