CU*Answers, the cooperative CUSO headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, reported that it has experienced an uptick of inquiries this year from organizations that were exploring starting credit unions. The CUSO reports that it is currently in conversations with more than a dozen chartering efforts across the country.
“From what we have observed, 2021 has been a big year for the rekindled spirit of starting new credit unions,” said Scott Collins, Executive Vice President of National Sales and Marketplace Relationships at CU*Answers. “It is exciting that so many organizations and community groups see the value that a financial cooperative can bring to their respective communities, and our cooperative is vested in doing everything that we can to help shepherd them through the chartering process. We believe that cooperatives working together can be a very powerful game-changer as these new credit unions go to market, so it is always a part of our business plan to invest alongside these new partners.”
Collins noted that the CUSO is currently engaged with startup efforts in ten states. “Vic Pantea from our team has spent four decades in the credit union industry, and he is bringing that vast experience to the table as he provides guidance for each de novo project,” Collins continued. “Vic is also engaged with the NCUA and various state regulators in an effort that we hope will streamline the process of launching a new credit union, and we are very pleased with the recent press releases from the NCUA about their streamlining efforts.”
Collins indicated that the current chartering efforts include a broad mix of grass roots movements that includes faith-based, community development, fraternal, social and ethnicity as their common bonds. “The current de novo activity tells me that the cooperative spirit is alive and well across the country, which is both refreshing and exciting.”