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Loan progress 'encouraging' for Ala., Fla. CUs, La Pine says
BIRMINGHAM, Ala., and TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (3/14/14)--Alabama and Florida credit unions experienced "encouraging" loan growth in 2013, spurred by a $178 million increase in member business lending, the League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU) reported.
 
"When you look at the year as a whole, Alabama and Florida credit unions are truly serving their members and their communities," said LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine. "For the first time in years, Alabama and Florida credit unions are at the national growth rates and, in some cases, exceeding the growth rate in key areas like total loans and member business loans. This is especially encouraging in Florida where the Great Recession hit hard."
 
The MBL growth rate in Florida was nearly double from 2012 and nearly twice the national credit union average. Loans as a whole were strong in Florida. The state's 158 credit unions added $1.9 billion in new loans in 2013, $154 million of which were new MBLs.
 
The Credit Union National Association is pressing the U.S. Congress to increase the member business lending cap to 27.5% of assets, from the current 12.25%-of-assets level. CUNA estimates the MBL cap change would help credit unions lend an additional $13 billion to small businesses in just the first year after enactment. This money, which would be made available at no expense to taxpayers, would in turn help small businesses create around 140,000 new jobs.
 
Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) introduced H.R. 4226 Thursday--a bill that would exempt loans for one- to four-unit non-occupied dwellings from the credit union member business lending cap. (See related story in today's News Now.)
 
Florida had the eighth-highest median loan growth year over year in the U.S. MBL growth was more than 11%, year over year. Florida's net charge-off and delinquent loan rates continued to show improvement, LSCU said. Three years ago both were nearly triple the national credit union average, the league noted.
 
In Alabama, loan growth was steady but improved over 2012. Alabama's 120 credit unions added $385 million in new loans for the year, 24 million of which were new MBLs. Alabama's net charge-off rate and delinquent loan rates remain steady and continue the yearly trend of improving.
 
Collectively, Alabama and Florida's 278 credit unions added $2.2 billion in new assets, 161,000 new members and $2.28 billion in new loans last year.
 
Alabama credit unions welcomed 40,000 new members in 2013 for a record 1.878 million total members.
 
In Florida, credit unions welcomed 121,000 members for 4.716 million total members; just shy of a record. To put this trend into perspective, in three years Alabama and Florida credit unions have increased membership by 312,000 members.
 
To illustrate how credit unions are leaders in their communities, last year Alabama and Florida credit unions added more than 500 new jobs. In Florida, 468 new full-time positions were added at credit unions, while Alabama saw 74 new full-time employees added to payrolls.


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