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$85B In Record Earnings Set By CUs In 2012
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (3/4/13)--"Credit unions had a pivotal year in 2012," recording $8.5 billion in earnings in that year, National Credit Union Administration Chairman Debbie Matz said in an agency release.

"The NCUA data shows the credit union movement is healthy, vibrant and on the rise," said Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney. "We believe these figures only reinforce our assessment that burdensome new regulations are not needed for credit unions, especially in this environment. We will continue to press NCUA and other regulators to minimize new requirements," he added.

The $8.5 billion earnings total is the highest figure ever for the credit union industry, according to the agency. This 2012 total represents a 36.1% increase from 2011's earnings total of $6.3 billion, and the NCUA said the increase is mainly a result of loan loss reserve reductions.

Total credit union assets increased by $60 billion in 2012, taking federal credit union assets across the $1 trillion mark. Industry net worth increased by $8.4 billion, and membership grew by more than 2 million in 2012, the NCUA reported. Industry net worth ratio rose to 10.44%, and delinquencies declined, the agency added.

Credit union share and deposit accounts increased by $50.4 billion in 2012, a year-to-year increase of 6.1%. Regular shares, share drafts, money market shares and non-member deposits all showed quarterly increases, while share certificates and IRA/Keogh accounts experienced nominal quarterly declines, the NCUA said.

Overall, credit union lending increased by 4.6% in 2012, "meaning more people got the loans needed to buy homes, purchase cars, and go to school," Matz said.

Net member business loan balances also increased by 6.5% in 2012, bringing that total to $41.7 billion at the end of 2012.

The NCUA report on credit union financials also found:

  • First mortgage real estate loans increased 1.2% in the fourth quarter, and 5.7% between 2011 and 2012, to total $246.3 billion at the end of the year;
  • Used auto loans increased by 1.1% in the fourth quarter and 7.9% for 2012, totaling $115.2 billion at the end of the year; and
  • New auto loans increased by 2.2% in the fourth quarter and 8.7% in all of 2012, totaling $63.3 billion at the end of the year.
The NCUA noted that growth was strongest in credit unions with more than $250 million in assets. However, credit unions with assets of $10 million and less lost members and reported slower loan growth than their larger system partners. Matz said it was the agency's responsibility to monitor the health of these small credit unions "and, to the extent possible, find ways to keep them sustainable."

Just over 44,000 credit union members filed for bankruptcy in the fourth quarter, a 10.4% decrease from the total reported in the third quarter of 2012, the NCUA reported. Loan charge-offs due to bankruptcy and credit unions' net charge-off ratio both held steady from quarter-to-quarter, totaling 21.5% and 0.73%, respectively. The delinquency ratio reported by credit unions fell by 2 basis points to total 1.16%.

These and other NCUA figures are based on Call Report data submitted to and compiled by the agency for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2012.

For more on the numbers, and CUNA analysis, watch for more on this in News Now this week. The full NCUA release on the credit union stats can be found by clicking the resource link.

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