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?
2 Replies to “The Top 100 Coops at Year-end 2019”
The Vermont State Employees Credit Union has a “Co-op Capital” program that “supports the development of cooperatives with long-term capital investments designed to help start new cooperative enterprises and grow established cooperative businesses.”
This has probably contributed to Vermont being the state with most worker and food cooperatives per capita in the US. As far as I know VSECU is the only credit union that does this.
Credit unions do fantastic charitable work, but do we just try to do the type of charitable work that conventional banks do but just more and better? How about we take a different, distinct approach. Let’s help our members help themselves by fostering creation of new cooperatives. Isn’t that what Filene was all about? If the 120 million members strong credit unions are not doing this, who is? We could find great ideas and energy among those members if we look for it.
Who died and made you Pope? We are dealing with O.P.M.(Pronounced: Opium) Other People’s Money. Funny how the Directors feel so freely about gifting it away to their favorite causes. And why not? It’s not a personal check for a large amount. It’s a corporate credit union check for a large amount. I wonder how freely those Directors would write the corporate credit union check if they had to match it from the Directors collection plate $1:$1? Sorry Directors your favorite charity is not mine and I am sure mine is not yours. Did the Directors ever discuss to survey the membership and poll them for their opinion? After all it’s members money you are gifting away. Why not pay a bonus dividend to the membership and recommend they pay it forward to a charity, cause of their choice? Members may find the Directors charity contribution to be a waste of corporate assets. Just like paying the ransom to release a Director might be deemed a waste of corporate assets.