Chicago-based digital credit union and challenger bank Alliant, has reported a record year for deposits, as well as for membership growth and loan origination, in its annual 2021 results.
Deposits for the year at the union climbed to $12.8 billion, up from $11.2 billion in 2020, while total gross loans finished the year at $10.1 billion, up from $9.1 billion in 2020.
Membership grew from 550,400 in 2020, to 646,111 in 2021, while net assets for the year totalled $15.2 billion.
The credit union champions a “digital first” strategy, with the aim of offering members better rates and a higher return on savings than traditional financial institutions.
“Without having to sustain a costly and underused branch network, Alliant has one of the best cost structures in the industry,” said Alliant CEO Dennis Devine.
“This is powerful for our members: Alliant can keep deposit rates high and lending rates low. In 2021, we focused on investments to offer best-in-class digital solutions while further improving our cost advantage, which is better than 96% of our peers.”
According to Devine, big US banks have charged billions more in fees than they pay in interest on savings over the past 10 years.
Credit unions continue to explore non-customary modes of banking. In December last year, Bloomberg reported that credit unions across the US were increasingly looking at holding crypto assets directly.
The National Credit Union Administration has been steadily signalling a desire to partner with third-party digital asset service providers, looking specifically at offering custody services.
Financial advisors have traditionally been hesitant to embrace crypto, though demand continues to preserve interest in the asset type.
Nevertheless, according to the 2021 American Consumer Satisfaction Index, published in November last year, banks continue to outpace credit unions in customer satisfaction, with banks earning a 78 score on a 100-point scale last year, while credit unions scored 76.