As digital branch technologies continue to grow in popularity, credit union physical branch strategies will undoubtedly evolve as well. The unique promise of credit unions to prioritize member needs serves as a major differentiator in the financial industry. This member-first philosophy can also lead to a different posture toward physical branches, as witnessed in recent years with the annual growth of the number of credit union branches while the number of bank branches steadily decline.

It may be intriguing for banks to close physical branches due to projected positive outcomes on profit and loss statements. Prematurely closing physical branches may leave large numbers of bank customers who rely on access to a physical branch feeling abandoned and even result in them moving to a different financial institution. This opens interesting opportunities for credit unions to further leverage their core competencies of prioritizing member needs, and there may be a direct correlation between the recent growth of credit union branches and the decline of bank branches.

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