The number of credit union “live teller” branch locations available through the nationwide CO-OP Shared Branching network has reached 5,000, just over three years after reaching 4,000 in February 2010.
“Shared branching is one of the best examples we can show potential members that credit unions really are different from banks,” CO-OP Financial Services President/CEO Stan Hollen said. “Through the cooperative spirit of credit unions we have assembled a network leapfrogging all but the very largest banks in terms of convenient access to a branch almost anywhere in the country.”
The 5,000 branch locations give the credit union industry the fourth largest branch network with teller service, trailing only three national banks – Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase. In fact, the CO-OP Shared Branching network is suddenly not so far behind, as CO-OP’s records show Wells Fargo at 6,382 branches, Bank of America at 5,916 and Chase at 5,833.
Nearly 1,800 credit unions participate in CO-OP Shared Branching, which enables members to enter any branch and conduct their business as if they were at their own credit union. CO-OP estimates that if all 7,000-plus U.S.-based credit unions participated in shared branching, the industry’s network of shared branching locations would total 20,519 branches.
The rapid growth of CO-OP Shared Branching during the past three years accelerated in 2012, following the merger of CO-OP Financial Services and Financial Service Centers Cooperative, Inc. (FSCC), which became effective at the first of last year. A total of 502 branches were added to CO-OP Shared Branching during 2012.
CO-OP Shared Branching is also the only financial services branch network with locations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to 5,000 live teller branches, CO-OP Shared Branching includes more than 2,000 self-service locations at Vcom® kiosks and credit unions nationwide.
CO-OP Shared Branching locations can be found at co-opsharedbranching.org.