|As loan performance and returns deteriorated at the nation's credit unions -- assets, membership and deposits grew.
Loans held by federally insured credit unions were $565.2 billion as of March 31, the National Credit Union Administration reported Wednesday. Outstanding loans eased from $565.9 billion on Dec. 31, 2008.
Residential loan assets, including first mortgages and home-equity lines-of-credit, grew 1.5 percent during the period.
Overall loan delinquency rose to 1.44 percent from 1.37 percent in the fourth quarter.
The number of depositors -- or 'members' -- rose to 89.2 million at the end of March from 88.6 million.
Overall assets were $856.4 billion, climbing from $811.4 billion on Dec. 31. Shares -- or deposits -- grew to 724.5 billion at the end of March from $681.1 billion.
Net worth at the 7,749 NCUA-regulated institutions dropped to $83.1 billion at the end of the first quarter from $86.4 billion at the end of the fourth quarter.
An increase in funds set aside for loan and lease losses and for the NCUSIF corporate stabilization pushed the return on average assets to a negative 1.51 percent from a negative 0.01 percent during the prior period.