LAS VEGAS — Data show that credit unions that have invested in a CUSO have a competitive advantage over those that have not.

That was the sentiment expressed by Jay Johnson, senior vice president of Callahan & Associates. He said there are about 700 CUSOs. In 2010, credit unions invested $2 billion in CUSOs with one-third of CUs having a CUSO tie, according to Johnson. Nearly 93% of credit unions that use CUSOs have assets over the $1 billion mark. Nearly 70% in the $100 million to $250 million range work with CUSOs.

Johnson said that credit unions active in the CUSO network post higher member growth, are moreproductive and have a stronger lending profile. The percentage of members with checking accounts at credit unions that have relationships at CUSOs indicated that their credit unions are their primary financial institution. Johnson also demonstrated that credit unions that use CUSOs have more accounts per member.

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