Cooperation Among Cooperatives – The credit union Superpower.

While credit unions operate independently, their superpower is their ability to collaborate and cooperate. You will never see a community bank joining its competitor. But credit unions are financial cooperatives; the sixth principle of a cooperative is “Cooperation Among Cooperatives.” By collaborating credit unions will enhance their collective strength and effectiveness in the following ways:

Sharing resources – One of the primary benefits of credit union collaboration is the ability to share resources. This can include sharing back-end technology, marketing resources, HR, technology and IT platforms, and expertise. As a result, credit unions can reduce costs, increase efficiency, improve their overall service offerings, and prepare themselves for growth and expansion by pooling their resources. One of the benefits of collaboration and cooperation is realized with CUSOs, for-profit entities owned by credit unions that are designed to make this pooling of resources possible.

Increased competitiveness – By leveraging the collective resources of multiple institutions, credit unions will become more efficient while offering a more comprehensive range of products and services, better rates, and more personalized customer service. Cooperating and collaborating is a shortcut to attaining economies of scale, which can help them compete more effectively with larger banks and other financial institutions.

A more significant influence – Credit unions have long advocated for their members and communities. By collaborating, credit unions can amplify their voice and increase their impact on issues affecting their members and communities. This can include advocating for fair lending practices, promoting financial wellness, and supporting local economic development initiatives.

Stronger communities – Ultimately, the power of credit union collaboration is in its ability to strengthen communities. By working together, credit unions can provide more access to affordable financial services, support local businesses and organizations, and promote financial literacy and education. This will build stronger, more resilient communities better equipped to face economic challenges.

Credit unions can have a more significant influence and visibility when they collaborate. Credit unions can significantly impact the financial well-being of their members and the communities by sharing resources, increasing competitiveness, amplifying their voices, and strengthening communities.


Rich Jones is the Founder/Principal of Leading2Leadership LLC. Before starting his strategic planning agency, he spent over 20 years in leadership roles in the financial services sector. Before becoming an executive in the financial services sector, Rich was an entrepreneur, building and selling two businesses and working for early-stage start-up companies in executive roles in marketing, business development, and seeking investment partners. With more than three decades of experience, he brings innovative thought to companies and executives. Rich published “Leading2Leadership, a Situational Primer to Leadership Excellence.” The book is available on and was designed to be used as a book study for leadership development programs; it breaks leadership skills into manageable situations for discussion and reflection. Rich works with credit unions, CUSOs, and vendors, designing digital, data, culture, marketing, and branding transformation strategies. In 2014, Chosen as a Credit Union Rock Star by CU Magazine, and in 2018, Rich received the Lifetime Achievement Award from CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council. A Marine and graduate of Colorado State University, Jones shares his expertise at

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