For 30 years, the National Cooperative Bank (NCB) has published the annual NCB Co-op 100, America’s top 100 Cooperatives by total revenue. In 2019, these member-owned and controlled businesses had total revenues of $228 billion.
Who is on the list?
Five credit unions are in the top 100. Navy is #7; State Employees (NC) #22; PenFed #30; BECU #57; and SchoolsFirst #78.
There are several well known consumer brand names of firms such as SunKist Growers, Land O’Lakes, Ocean Spray, Welch Foods and ACE hardware. In addition to finance, larger co-ops also serve the farming, energy, health care, grocery and hardware sectors.
The total assets of these leaders are $733 billion.
The compiler of the list, NCB, was created to address the financial needs of an underserved market niche: people who join together cooperatively to meet personal, social or business needs especially in low income communities. Chartered by Congress in 1978, NCB was privatized in 1981. Owned by its more than 3,100 customer-owners, it has $7.9 billion in assets under management. As part of its enabling legislation, NCB was tasked with ensuring that 35% of the capital it deploys will benefit low income communities.
A Credit Union Opportunity?
The question for the $1.7 trillion cooperative credit union community’s 5,200 institutions: What are we doing to enhance cooperative solutions for the American economy beyond consumer finance?