Take-up of the federal credit union option has been slow.
It has been eight years since the federal option came online in 2012; ten if we date the process back to when the federal government introduced the framework legislation in 2010. So far, only two credit unions—UNI Financial Cooperation and Coast Capital Savings—have crossed the Rubicon.
But the context is changing. And with that, the incentives to go federal will change as well. That’s what this paper is about—linking the changing context to the incentives to go federal and examining the considerations that flow from there.
This research paper discusses the context and then considers some strategic questions that arise. It also proposes a way for credit unions to organize their thinking as they go about answering these questions.
Questions include, should credit pursue the federal option, given these changes? And if a preponderance of credit unions answer yes to that question, is there value in having the system advocate collectively for a federal policy environment that is friendlier to credit unions?
The conclusion to this paper offers some thoughts on what such a policy environment might look like. The author's hope is that this analysis—coupled with previous Canadian Credit Union Association work on some of the more operational considerations around going federal—can be used to inform not only the strategic thinking of credit unions but also the collective efforts of the system.