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Alabama, Florida CUs End Year With $31B Assets
BIRMINGHAM, Ala., and TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (3/29/13)--For a third consecutive year, credit unions in Alabama and Florida ended 2012 with a record number of assets. The 285 credit unions in both states added $3.1 billion in assets.

That equates to 6% growth for the year and a record $17.7 billion in total assets in Alabama. Alabama credit unions added slightly more than $1 billion in new assets. In Florida, the growth rate in 2012 was nearly 5%, for a record $45.5 billion in assets. Florida credit unions added $2.1 billion in new assets for the year.

"A trend we've noticed for the past three years now is that credit unions are gaining a greater share of wallet from existing members," said Patrick La Pine, president/CEO, League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates. "While membership is rising most quarters, there are more assets being added than members. This shows existing credit union members are seeing the value and moving more of their money to the credit union."

Alabama credit unions added 6,000 new members in fourth quarter to end the year with a record 1.83 million members. That constitutes a 3% membership growth rate--well above the national credit union average, LSCU said. It also places Alabama with the 17th highest credit union growth rate in the U.S., said the league. Florida credit unions' membership numbers dipped in the fourth quarter, when financial institutions typically purge dormant accounts, LSCU explained.

With lending, Alabama and Florida credit unions saw a positive growth rate for the first time in three years. Member business lending continues to gain in both states. Alabama credit unions saw nearly a 13 % gain, year over year, in member business loans. That is twice the national average and equates to $54 million in MBL growth. Florida credit unions outpaced the national average by showing a 6.8% growth rate. That equates to adding $81 million in new MBL loans. That also indicates credit unions are lending to small businesses in communities across both states, LSCU said.

Delinquencies and net charge offs continue to fall--a sign that the loans made in each state are better quality. Florida's delinquent loans to total loans and net charge-offs fell for a third consecutive year. In Alabama, delinquent loans to total loans remained consistently low, while net charge-offs fell for the fourth year.
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