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Credit Union news

Membership Grows as Number of Credit Unions Shrinks

Lending rises 1.7 percent at country's credit unions

Aug. 31, 2012

By staff

The nation's credit unions are expanding their collective base of members, and fewer institutions are servicing the new members. The sector has seen several quarters of lending growth as earnings and capital strength also improved.

First mortgage lending by federally insured credit unions increased by 1.7 percent during the quarter ended June 30.

All but one lending category saw increased activity in the latest three-month period.

Outstanding loans booked during the second quarter were $581.7 billion, increasing from $572.0 billion, according to call reports collected by the National Credit Union Administration. The NCUA noted the total represented a "robust" 1.7 percent increase.

Total lending has increased for five consecutive quarters.

Total assets, grew to 1.0076 trillion in the second quarter from $1.0018 trillion three months earlier.

Credit union delinquency fell 24 basis points to 1.20 percent. A majority of the decline was attributed to a new NCUA rule that allows loan modifications without having to classify troubled debt restructurings as delinquent until the credit union receives payments over a six-month period.

"The new rule brings NCUA's policies more closely in line with other regulators and works to help keep families in their homes," the regulator stated.

Capital strength was 10.16 points, 15 basis points better than the first quarter. Return on average assets improved by a basis point.

Net income at credit unions increased to $2.14 billion from $2.08 billion in the first quarter.

After adding 643,322 new members during the second quarter, total credit union membership stood at 93.1 million.

But there were fewer financial institutions around to service the expanded membership base, with the number of federally chartered credit union dropping to 6,960 from 7,019.

New credit union deposits totaled $2.7 billion in the latest period.

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