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Credit Union news


Mortgage Holdings Grow at Credit Unions

Number of credit unions declines

Dec. 3, 2013

By Mortgage Daily staff

The amount of first mortgages owned by credit unions grew in the third quarter, but the number of credit unions was down.

As of Sept. 30, there were 6,620 federally insured credit unions in operation. That was 61 fewer than at the end of the second quarter.

Voluntary mergers numbered 58 in the three months ended Sept. 30, and there was just one bank conversion.

The National Credit Union Administration reported the performance metrics Monday based on call report data.

Credit union membership finished the third quarter at a record 95.9 million. Membership was up 0.7 million from the previous period and up 2 million from a year earlier.

Total loans outstanding at the country's credit unions finished the third quarter at $631.5 billion.

Loan holdings were up 2.9 percent, "a faster pace than in the previous quarter."

The latest total left the loans-to-share ratio at 69.7 percent -- the highest it's been since the end of 2010.

Credit unions with more than $500 million in assets numbered 422 and held more than two-thirds of all credit union assets, or $708 billion.

Although smaller credit unions had higher net worth ratios, they lagged in net worth growth, loan growth, membership gains and return on average assets.

"Smaller credit unions still face challenges in growing loan volume, generating earnings and attracting members, so NCUA must continue to provide them with needed assistance, training and support," NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz said.

Lending was up in nearly every category.

NCUA said that first mortgages holdings were $262.3 billion as of Sept. 30.

Residential first liens increased 3.3 percent from the second quarter, while the growth was 7.7 percent compared to the same quarter last year.

More than 62 percent of first mortgages had fixed rates.

Matz warned that interest rate risk on rate-sensitive deposits, fixed-rate mortgages and some investments should be taken very seriously by credit unions.

"As interest rates go up, credit unions could be caught between a rock and a hard place," Matz said. "They have been paring expenses and reducing loan loss reserves to maintain earnings. However, as they make new loans at lower interest rates than older loans coming off their books, they have been making longer-term investments to increase yield."

Net income for all credit unions increased $1.8 billion, not as much as the $2.2 billion increase in the prior period and the $2.1 billion increase in the same period last year.

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