The CO-OP Shared Branch network announced Wednesday (Aug. 3) that it has passed Chase in the number of branch offices, making the credit union cooperative the second-largest network of financial institution branches in the country.
In a press release the credit union said the CO-OP Shared Branch now totals 5,671 physical locations. Chase in comparison has 5,567 branches as of July 18, according to FDIC figures. The credit union network added more than 400 branches during the last two years, when CO-OP Shared Branch surpassed Bank of America. The network is less than 500 locations away from No. 1 Wells Fargo, which has 6,150 branches, it said in the press release.
“Shared branching is to credit union members what Uber is to passengers looking for a nearby ride,” said Todd Clark, president/CEO of CO-OP Financial Services in a prepared statement. “It’s the best example there is of why credit unions are different than banks – they share! Around 1,800 of the 6,100 U.S. credit unions share their branches. In addition, more than 3,000 are part of our CO-OP ATM network. When you couple-in digital services, credit unions offer a financial ecosystem that is convenient, accessible and a positive force in communities.”
The shared branch network enables members to enter the branch of any participating credit union and conduct their business as if they were in their own home branch. In addition to member convenience when traveling, shared branching offers credit unions revenue streams and operational efficiencies, and a key means of retaining members who move, the company said. CO-OP Shared Branch is one of three networks that CO-OP offers credit unions to provide account access to members. CO-OP ATM offers nearly 30,000 surcharge-free machines nationwide to members and in addition, CO-OP is a credit union industry partner for Zelle, a financial institution-led digital payments network allowing members to send money to anyone with a U.S. bank or credit union account.