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A new analysis by Sandler O’Neill underscores how critical the sheer size of financial institutions  has become to their surviving and thriving. Yet top performing credit unions are being held back by a systemic lack of accountability.

Consumers have aggressively shopped for the best rate on loans and deposits, triggering a 20-year decline in the net interest margin of banks and credit unions. Further challenging profitability is the need to continually invest in technology, both to increase customer convenience and to protect against fraud. Added to that are the increased compliance costs and pressures on fee income arising from the Dodd-Frank Act.

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