Kehrer Group Annual Checkup Finds Credit Unions Overtaking Banks


According to this year’s Kehrer Group Annual Industry Checkup, the number of credit unions providing investment services continued its slow but steady climb during 2023.  Registered financial advisors provided financial advice in 1,089 credit unions, up from 1,060 the previous year.


At the same time, the credit union community continues to consolidate, with 15 fewer federally insured credit unions by the end of the year.  Consequently, the share of credit unions providing professional financial advice to members continued to grow, reaching 23.4% last year.  That is almost double the prevalence of investment services in credit unions in 2011.



This growth is in stark contrast with the banking industry, where the number of banks offering professional financial advice has fallen from 1,835 in 2011 to 1,130 last year.  Since 2017, the decline in bank-based financial advice providers has outpaced banking consolidation, as the share of FDIC-insured institutions providing investment services fell from 27.5% to 24.5% in 2023.


Credit unions’ trust advantage


As member-owned institutions, credit unions continue to expand their service offerings and are filling a widening gap for wealth management, thereby becoming as trusted in the investment space as they are for deposit- and loan-based banking services.  The member-centric credit union culture is a contributor to trends that benefit both credit unions and investment advisors in the wealth management space.


With pressure for competitive fees in the financial services industry compressing the non-interest income of credit unions, they are seeking new sources of income and turning to investment services programs which provide value to members as well as helping the credit union meet the need for competitive, income-producing activities.


The transfer of wealth from baby boomers’ retirement and estate assets moving to the next generation creates an ongoing opportunity for institutions with a longer-range view of the evolving, life-stage financial needs of families.


Although some credit unions are newer to investment/wealth management programs than competitor banks overall, they’ve quickly grasped how advisors gathering outside assets can help them attract greater cross-selling potential, added deposits, a more high-end reputation, and deeper trust with key members for building multi-decade and next-generation relationships.


As credit union leaders have readily recognized members’ expansive needs in the context of online financial industry trends, so too have registered representatives (financial advisors) seen greater opportunities to build their practice within a values-based organization which benefits from stable and stickier relationships with middle-market consumers.


Credit unions currently offering investment service programs can look to widen their advantage in the future.


About the Annual Checkup

Since 2012 Kehrer Group has combined proprietary and industry data to provide an annual review of the health of investment services in banks and credit unions. The data for this year’s report cover 2,450 of the banks and credit unions that provide investment services, which collectively manage 9,360 advisors.  This year’s study is sponsored by Financial Resources Group , Terrapin Technologies, and TruStage.


About TruStage

TruStage™ is a financially strong insurance, investment and technology provider, built on the philosophy of people helping people. We believe a brighter financial future should be accessible to everyone, and our products and solutions help people confidently make financial decisions that work for them at every stage of life. With a culture rooted and focused on creating a more equitable society and financial system, we are deeply committed to giving back to our communities to improve the lives of those we serve. For more information, visit