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Over the past three years, my first-hand strategic consulting engagements with more than 100 high-performing credit unions revealed several uncommon and common themes. The uncommon? Size, location, field of membership and charter. No two credit unions were alike – a testament to the localized and unique superpowers of credit unions. The common? Read on.

Defining high-performing credit unions was simple: A high return on assets (ROA) of 1% and above and sound net worth ratio (10% and above) yielded a return on equity (ROE) of 10%. In short, these credit unions had the capacity to grow 10% in assets each year with cash flow and profits from current operations. Membership growth was impressive (about 7%), but member lifetime value (revenue and profits) drove long-lasting success and sustainability.

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