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MCUE: CU asset, loan growth rates up in 2012 from 2011
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MADISON, Wis. (2/4/13)--Credit union assets and loans grew at a higher rate during 2012 than in 2011, according to a Credit Union National Association economist's analysis of December's monthly sample of credit unions.

"Credit union assets grew 6.5% in 2012, up from 5.1% in 2011, as members rebuilt their personal balance sheets," Steve Rick, CUNA senior economist, told News Now. Year-over-year, "most of the savings growth came in the form of liquid deposits like share-draft and regular-share accounts, which increased 13.2% and 12.5%, respectively.  Record-low interest rates kept share certificate balance growth in negative territory, falling 2.4% over the year."

Monthly increases saw credit union loans outstanding up 0.5% in December, over November. The growth was led by credit cards (2.4%), fixed-rate first mortgages (2%), home equity loans (1%), and new- and used-auto loans, which both grew 0.8%, according to CUNA's Monthly Credit Union Estimates (MCUE). Adjustable-rate mortgages declined 1.1%. Credit union loans totaled $613.1 billion, compared with $587 billion in December 2011.

"Loans staged a modest comeback in 2012, growing 4.5%, up from the 1.1% pace set in 2011," Rick said. "We expect loan growth to maintain this acceleration in 2013, with growth over 5%." 

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Credit union savings balances grew 0.1% in December from November, led by regular shares (0.8%), the MCUE said. Money market accounts and individual retirement accounts each rose 0.4%, while share drafts and one-year certificates declined 1.4% and 0.2%, respectively. Credit union savings tallied $899.5 billion in December--or $54.2 billion more than the $845.3 billion in December 2011.

Regarding asset quality, credit unions' 60-plus-day delinquency rate remained at 1.1% for the past three months.

"Credit quality showed dramatic improvement in 2012 as loan delinquency rates fell from 1.6% in December 2011, to 1.1% in December 2012," Rick said. "With expectations for an improving labor market in 2013, we expect delinquency rates to fall to 0.9%, slightly above the long-run average of 0.8%. Falling loan-loss provisions should keep credit union earnings around 0.9% in 2013." 

The loan-to-savings ratio remained at 68% during December.

The movement's overall capital-to-asset ratio is 10.4%. The total dollar amount of capital is $109 billion.
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