MADISON, Wis. – Credit union assets and loans grew at a higher rate during 2012 than in 2011, according to a CUNA 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 CUNA 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%."
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.
For CUNA’s monthly credit union data, click here.