Bank and Credit Union Business Models in the United States


This study comes in response to the continuing evolution of market structures and regulatory overhaul since the financial crisis of 2007-2009 in the US. The banking sector has largely suffered after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008. The initial context of decades of deregulation has been followed by the Dodd-Frank Act to respond to the overly damaging 2007-2009 global financial crisis, with the aim of safeguarding financial stability and putting an end to government bailouts.

This first investigation into the bank and credit union business models for the United States, offers an extensive insight into 10,352 banks and 10,392 credit unions, which respectively account for almost all total banking assets of the country and more than 80% of the total assets of credit unions. Using regulatory data from 2000 to 2014, the two samples of 108,226 bank-year observations and 115,516 credit-union-year observations are each clustered into distinct bank and credit union business models, using a novel definition and applying a robust clustering methodology. The definition uses the activity and funding profiles of a bank or a credit union based on balance sheet indicators.

Four bank business models and three credit union business models are identified. The study proceeds then by thorough assessments of the interaction between business models and size, as well as the migration, financial performance, contribution to the real economy, risk and response to regulation of US banks and credit unions, using a rich palette of indicators.

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