Credit Unions Add 2.3 Million New Owners in 12 Months

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Callahan & Associates’ first quarter 2013 analysis confirms the continued resurgence of the credit union industry with growth in membership, loans, and core deposits.

The lending results demonstrate credit unions’ critical role in providing members access to historically low rates.

Callahan & Associates’ first quarter 2013 analysis confirms the continued resurgence of the credit union industry with growth in membership, loans and core deposits.

Member Ownership Grows to 96.1 Million

In the past 12 months, credit union member ownership has grown by 2.3 million individuals to reach 96.1 million. Members’ commitment to the cooperative model is reflected in the more than 2.3 million new checking accounts opened at credit unions over the past year. The checking account is often considered an indicator of a consumer’s primary financial institution.

“We’re getting members that may not have had as deep of relationship previously coming back to the credit union,” remarks Jay Johnson, Executive Vice President of Callahan & Associates. “With nearly 50 million checking accounts today, households are turning to credit unions more than ever.”

Lending Starts Strong Out of the Gate

Loan originations increased by 15% in the first quarter of 2013 versus a year ago with $83 billion in loan volume. All origination categories continue to increase momentum, including first mortgages up 75% versus just two years ago to top $31 billion – the highest volume ever for the first quarter. Consumer loan volume has increased by $10 billion since the first quarter of 2011.

This lending success is translating to growth on the balance sheet. Auto loan balances posted strong growth over the past year in both new and used vehicles. New auto loans increased 8.9% versus March 2012 and used auto loans rose by 8.4 %. Credit card balances are up 6.1% over the same period.

“The lending results demonstrate credit unions’ critical role in providing members access to historically low rates. This translates to better cash flow in households as minimum loan payments are reduced, allowing members to further pay down debt, save or spend locally,” explains Chip Filson, Chairman of Callahan & Associates.

Credit union financial performance remains strong with reserves reaching a new high of $114 billion and a net worth ratio that is on average over 3% above the regulatory “well capitalized” standard. “Credit unions are doing a great job of converting member capital into financial capital that will help sustain the cooperative for future generations,” commented Filson.

View the top trends of 1Q13 on CreditUnions.com at http://www.creditunions.com/industry-overview/.

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Carissa Heckathorn
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