Study Sees Growing Role, Influence Of CUSOs

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In lending, investment and technology services, 138 multi-owned credit union service organizations (CUSOs) are having a greater impact on credit unions and their members than ever before, according to Callahan & Associates. According to the company's "2004 Directory of Credit Union Cooperatives," the innovation and market strength delivered by multi-owned CUSOs is increasingly critical to CUs' success.

"With credit unions holding a limited market share in most services they offer, cooperation is essential to the industry's progress," said Callahan EVP Jay Johnson. "Providing insight into the successes of the cooperative business model can help credit unions develop new organizations that will deliver member-driven solutions."

Leader tables in the directory identify the largest multi-owned CUSOs as the CO-OP Network in California with 970 credit union owners and PSCU Financial Services in Florida with 511 owners."Their influence can be seen in the numbers," Callahan's noted, "with the CO-OP Network operating nearly 18,000 surcharge-free ATMs and PSCU managing over 8 million member and debit card accounts. These large CUSOs operate with the same philosophy as those with only a few credit union owners, leveraging the resources of their owners to provide new and improved products and services to members with their interest in mind." For info: www.creditunions.com.

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