Recently changing regulations and unfavorable market conditions have cast a shadow over the credit union industry. Lost fee income and rising interest rates have dampened expectations of growth for 2014, driving many credit unions toward starting CUSOs to earn noninterest income. Some have turned to consolidation to cut costs. According to CUNA Mutual Group, the industry lost 272 institutions in 2013 and consolidation will continue in 2014. The credit union industry is not alone in this trend. Sixty-seven percent of midmarket executives anticipate more consolidation in 2014, according to findings from a Capstone survey.

Although the outlook for growth may seem bleak, opportunities are there if you know where to look. Rather than trying to keep up with changes in the marketplace or competition, credit unions should focus on future demand.

Ultimately, your growth depends on your success in meeting the needs of members you have yet to capture. What do they want today? What will they want in the future? When you shift your vision from competition to future demand, you see the opportunities for growth. Once focused on future demand, you can consider five options for growth.

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