Given the relationship with their members, credit unions have a tremendous competitive advantage, according to a research paper from CUNA Mutual Group titled “Lending Strategies and Trends.” Their ability to effectively connect with their members has endured.
Credit unions were asked how their loan balances might change over the next five years, whether the loan balances would increase 5% or more, stay about the same or decrease 5% or more. The majority of credit unions expect increases for most loan types.
Since the mid 1990s, credit unions have been adding to their channel choices. Although significant growth has occurred, it now appears to have slowed in terms of adoption. Despite the growth in channel options, the percentage of consumer lending dollars transacted face-to-face (the member comes into the credit union at some point in the loan transaction) has been fairly constant at about two-thirds.
The volume of loans transacted via these channels has also remained relatively constant. For example, among credit unions offering indirect lending, an average 36% of their total vehicle loans are indirect loans. In 2007, 39% of vehicle loans were indirect. Over time, this percentage has ranged from approximately 33% to 40%.