BIRMINGHAM, Ala., and TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (9/11/12)--The upward trend of assets and membership for credit unions in Alabama and Florida continued in the second quarter, and credit unions in these states saw an uptick in member business lending as well, said the League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU).
Credit unions in Florida added $310 million in assets to set a record of $45.6 billion in assets. Alabama credit unions added $129 million in assets, and they, too, set a record--at $17.6 billion in assets.
Combined, the two states added 46,000 new members during second quarter. But a closer look at that numbers tells a great story, said LSCU. For the past four quarters, Florida credit unions have added 143,000 new members for a record 4.68 million members, while Alabama credit unions added 51,000 new members during the period for a record 1.81 million members.
"Since the third quarter of 2011, credit unions in Alabama and Florida have been growing at a strong rate that is higher than the national credit union average," said LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine.
He attributed the growth "to the overall awareness of credit unions being raised. Individual credit unions are doing a great job of promoting their brand, while the league's Statewide Image Campaign and the consumers' attitudes toward big banks have been contributing factors."
Credit unions worked more with small businesses in the second quarter by issuing more member business loans (MBL), said the league. In Alabama, MBLs jumped more than 4%, which was greater than the national credit union average and nearly double the growth rate during the past two years. In Florida, MBLs grew 3% in second quarter, right at the national credit union average, but three times higher than two years ago.
The Credit Union National Association and credit unions are urging Congress to raise credit unions' MBL cap to 27.5% of assets from the current 12.25% to enable more business loans to be made to boost the economy. CUNA estimates that raising the cap would inject $13 billion in new small-business loans into the economy and help create 140,000 new jobs the first year. The increase would come at no expense to taxpayers.