Shared branching is the cooperation between credit unions to share their branches for basic financial transactions as a convenience for their members. Wow! What a concept right? You might say, “Banks don’t do this.” and you’d be correct. Sharing branching is the credit union industry’s way of competing with the big banks that have a branch on every corner. The aggregate of shared credit union branches has now placed credit unions among the top 5 financial institution in number of branches. It facilitates credit unions to remain their member’s primary financial institution (PFI) no matter where they move, travel and work, as well as, being an excellent resource for disaster recovery.
Credit Unions operate under strict and limiting rules. They can only conduct business with members within their field of membership. They also operate under the competitive disadvantage of limited channels of distribution or branching system. When a credit union wishes to locate an office to serve its membership, it can only select an area where there are enough members to justify and support the facility. Because of these limitations, many credit union members are severely underserved.
For these and many other reasons shared branching is the solution for many credit unions nationwide to partner together to form a network of branches credit union members can utilize.