Recent European research confirms an implicit strength of the credit union, or co-op, ownership model for a financial services intermediary. In essence, the basic saving and loan paradigm of a credit union insulates credit unions from many of the larger risks that have gripped large banks. Credit unions do not speculate in aggregated 'financial' risks. Consumer ownership, as opposed to investor ownership, has proven to be less fickle, and committed to local needs. For a good overview check out this article at thenews.coop, or you can read the paper, Resilience in a downturn, The power of financial cooperatives.