Credit unions have evolved dramatically since their arrival in North America in 1901 when the first deposit was made for 10 cents into The People’s Bank of Levis, actually the Quebec home of a Canadian ­journalist.

But it is perhaps the last 20 years – bookended by the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the global upheaval of COVID-19 – that afford us the most telling look at their nature, with insights into their ability to thrive in the future.

They have not been able to keep pace with steep competition from big and neo-banks and fintech firms far more engaged with digital and omnichannel services. But they also have failed to use the full force of their marketing power to overcome these shortcomings.

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