So what are the differences between banks and credit unions?

Posted: March 10, 2010 in Uncategorized
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There are some major differences to be sure. Banks have typically done a better job of marketing and communicating to create their brand. Credit Unions on the other hand have a good story to tell, however most lack the marketing and branding skills of their banking brethren.
The numbers clearly indicate the dominance of the banks in the US compared to the Credit Unions. Credit Unions peaked at over 20,000 in the early seventies, today that number is just slightly below 7800 because of all the mergers that have taken place during this period. One can only assume that this trend will continue for both banks and credit unions. The big will be getting bigger.

To put size into perspective…Bank of America are as large in terms of asset size than ALL the Credit Unions combined. So what does that really tell us about Credit Unions? They service the community in which they reside, and do not have the broad reach like the banks.

Bank Deposits ($ billions) Market Share
Bank of America [1] $835.9 11.9%
JPMorgan Chase [2] $692.1 9.9%
Wells Fargo [3] $680.3 9.7%
Citibank [4] $263.8 3.8%
PNC Bank [5] $174.6 2.5%
Top 5 37.7%
U.S. Bank $127.8 1.8%
SunTrust Bank $114.3 1.6%
Citizens Bank $95.3 1.4%
Capital One $88.9 1.3%
Regions Bank $86.2 1.2%
Top 10 45.0%
… …
Total (8,451 banks) $7,026 100%
Credit Union
Deposits ($ billions) Market Share
Navy FCU [1] $40.1 4.5%
State ECU[2] $19.1 2.2%
Pentagon [3] $13.9 1.6%
BECU [4] $8.6 .10%
Schools First FCU [5] $7.9 .09%
Top 5 8.49%
Golden CU $7.5 .08%
Alliant CU $6.7 .08%
Suncoast Schools $5.6 .06%
Security Service $5.4 .06%
American Airlines $5.1 .05%
Top 10 8.82%
… …
Total (7,773 credit unions) $885.9 100%

One can quickly surmise that the credit union industry is one of great fragmentation. The banking industry on the other hand wield quite a bit of power concentrated in the hands of a few.

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