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Wipfli research delivers transformative insights into credit unions

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Wipfli, a leading advisory firm, has unveiled groundbreaking research shedding light on the shifting landscape of credit unions.

This comprehensive study, based on a survey of 83 credit unions across 20 states, delves into their priorities, concerns and strategic shifts as they navigate 2024.

The research underscores a significant transition in the trajectory of credit unions' market strategies. While historically revered for their customer-centric approach, credit unions are facing a pivotal moment as traditional banking institutions intensify efforts to expand their service offerings and technological prowess.

Key findings from the research highlight a notable shift in credit unions' outlook:

  • Diminished market confidence: Credit unions are expressing a more cautious outlook for the upcoming year compared to previous projections, reflecting a more reserved sentiment toward their market position.
  • Strategic priorities realignment: Interestingly, there has been a drastic decrease in credit unions prioritizing mergers and acquisition strategies, with a notable surge in plans to sell, signifying a profound shift in their strategic direction.
  • Digital innovation: Embracing technology emerges as the cornerstone of credit unions' strategies for growth and retention. Priorities revolve around enhancing digital member engagement, integrating instant payment systems and leveraging data analytics and artificial intelligence.

As credit unions navigate challenges such as employee recruitment, cybersecurity, and retaining market share, this research serves as a compass for their transformative journey.

“Liquidity is tightening and so are core deposits,” said Anna Kooi. “Add inflation to that you get nervous, cautious credit unions. Oftentimes, that cautiousness can lead to inertia, but it’s going to take decisive and strong actions for them to thrive.

The insights gleaned from the research not only illuminate the evolving landscape of credit unions but also pave the way for strategic adaptation and innovation in the financial services sector.

“The two biggest areas for opportunities are with unbanked/underbanked households and open banking,” Kooi said. “If credit unions are strategic and aggressive in those arenas, it will help them expand their market.”

To learn more about the opportunities and obstacles facing credit unions in 2024, download our report.

Media contact:
Teresa Schmedding