The economic downturn appears to have spurred the growth of shared branching this year, according to one major shared branching network.

CO-OP Shared Branching, the shared branching subsidiary of CO-OP Financial Services reports that 43 credit unions have started shared branching through its network from January to April of this year. Last year, only 40 credit unions started shared branching over the same time period.

Though it may not be a large increase in new participants, Carroll Beach, CO-OP Shared Branching chief operating officer, contended the growth is significant.

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