illinois-supersizeFurther expanding its credit union branch footprint in Illinois, shared branching vendor Credit Union Centers (CUC) has signed three more credit unions to join its CO-OP network – all as “issuers” and “acquirers”. These new signings fall on the heels of CUC recently signing SIU Credit Union ($344 million; 39,262 members; Carbondale, IL) to push the vendor’s client mark to more than 150 branch locations in Illinois.

CUC’s new Illinois clients include:

  • Earthmover Credit Union ($272 million; 28,027 members; Aurora, IL; adding 6 new outlet locations to the shared branching network)
  • South Division Credit Union ($47 million; 6,256 members; Evergreen Park, IL; adding 3 new outlet locations to the shared branching network)
  • University of Illinois Employees Credit Union ($348 million; 48,686 members; Champaign, IL; adding 3 new outlet locations to the network)

According to SDCU’s President and CEO Geri Burek, the credit union has members residing in 40 states, plus a wide distribution in the credit union’s Chicago Metro marketplace that will be able to leverage shared branching.

“The shared branch network will provide many of these members the convenience and reduced cost of visiting a localized branch to perform basic transactions,” Burek says, adding that incorporating a cooperative and more competitive service network is part of the credit union’s “Next Evolution in Personal Banking” brand. “We see it as a greater convenience and lower costs for our members – a zero-sum between income and costs with a net benefit to our members in convenience and reduced personal costs.”

According to UIECU’s SVP/COO, Greg Anderson, his primary reason for incorporating shared branching is member retention. As members move from the east central Illinois area, they can remain active with the credit union because more than likely there will be a shared branch in their new location – which will be especially beneficial for the university’s alumni members, the majority of which reside in the Chicago metro area.

“Having shared branching as part of our service offering gives our credit union a more robust and substantial offering for our members,” Anderson says. “There’s simply no way credit unions can compete with banks on a branch level without shared branching, so this move should increase our retention numbers. It will also work well for our local members, having additional branch access in the area.”

With these signings, the 14 new shared branching locations in Illinois bring the total number of shared branch locations to more than 150 in the state and over 5,500 national locations. Today, there are now 50 Illinois credit unions that are part of the CO-OP Shared Branching network, providing more than 2.3 million Illinois members access to the largest credit union branch network in the world.

“What a fantastic milestone for us to provide more than 150 locations for members throughout the state of Illinois,” says Credit Union Centers EVP/CFO Dan Davis. “We see this mark as another step in increasing the value of credit unions nationwide. Not only do credit unions have more locations than any other financial institution in Indiana, but now we are approaching that level in Illinois, as well. We are very pleased to have Earthmover, South Division and University of Illinois Employees join our network.”