As someone who has worked with CUSOs for the past thirty years, I am often asked by credit union CEO’s what are the “hot” services for CUSOs? “I need more revenue streams and I need to contain my operating costs. What works?”
Revenue streams come in two flavors, fee revenue and interest revenue. Looking first at fee income, investment services can provide significant returns. After paying the financial advisors and costs, credit unions can earn between 30%- 45% of the commissions shared with the credit union which can be 80% to 92% of the total commissions. There are many credit unions that have affiliated broker/dealer relationships that generate over a million dollars per year in commission income (note that this model is direct with the credit union and not through a CUSO). The amount of capital needed to start up and support an affiliated investment services program is a pittance comparted to the capital needed to source, underwrite, fund, service and reserve for loans.