MADISON, Wis. – Not only are more credit unions offering share draft services, but the composition of CUs providing the product has changed over the past five to 10 years. Overall, the percentage of credit unions that offer share draft products increased from 42% in 1990, to 65% in 2001. This growth is particularly noticeable among small credit unions. In 1990, for example, less than 10% of credit unions with assets under $5 million, offered share draft accounts. By 1995 that number grew to 19%, and as of December 2001, almost a quarter of credit unions in this asset category offered share drafts. Even the fact that there were fewer small credit unions in 2001 than there were 10 years ago doesn’t take anything away from the significance of these numbers, said CUNA’s Vice President of Economics Mike Schenk. “Given that the median asset size of credit unions is $10 million, that means that half of all credit unions with assets less than $10 million are offering share drafts,” said Schenk. He added that it’s just as important for credit unions to keep in mind when looking at the numbers that the decrease in the number of small credit unions is as much due to the fact that many former smaller credit unions have since moved in to the upper asset groups, and not solely because of mergers with larger credit unions. “The fact that many smaller credit unions were able to grow without offering share draft accounts supports the argument that a credit union doesn’t have to be all things to all of its members,” said Schenk. A credit union can be successful without offering share drafts, “But there is still a proven high correlation between having a share draft product and being a member’s primary financial “In the scheme of things, credit unions have not been involved with offering share draft products for that long, less than 40 years. That means all credit unions are relatively new to the share draft business. Even in that relatively short span of time, experience has shown how powerful a tool share draft accounts can be in attracting and retaining members,” said Schenk. – [email protected]

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