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Auto, Biz Loan Growth Strong in Fla., Ala.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala., and TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (1/8/14)--Alabama and Florida's 279 credit unions increased their loan portfolios by more than $900 million in the third quarter of 2013, with member business lending (MBL) accounting for a notable portion of the growth, the League of Southeastern Credit Unions reported.
 
"You can clearly see over the past three years more consumers are looking for loans," said LSCU & Affiliates President/CEO Patrick La Pine. "Credit unions have been in a great position to help their members purchase new and used autos, as well as new homes. Member business loans have picked up over the past 10 quarters as more businesses recognize credit unions want to help them grow their business."
 
Alabama credit unions added $187 million in new loans from the second quarter to the third quarter, according to call report data. About $8 million of those loans were MBLs.
 
In Florida, credit unions increased their loans by $753 million from second quarter to third quarter, with $61 million coming from MBLs. For the first three quarters of 2013, Alabama made more than $20 million in loans to small businesses, while Florida added $142 in MBLs.
 
The Credit Union National Association is urging Congress to allow credit unions to play a larger role in helping small businesses through MBLs. The statutory cap on MBLs loans, as a proportion of credit union's assets, is currently 12.25%. CUNA says that raising the federal government-mandated ceiling to 27.5% would inject $13 billion into the economy, and help boost employment by 140,000 at no cost to taxpayers.
 
Florida credit unions have seen delinquencies fall 33 basis points (bps), while net charge offs fell 32 bps. Both numbers have been cut in half over the past three years. Alabama credit unions have seen delinquencies rise slightly, but net charge offs continue to fall and are at the national credit union average of 0.57%.
 
Assets and membership are climbing among LSCU credit unions. Alabama credit unions added 38,000 new members through three quarters, bringing total membership to 1.876 million. Florida credit unions added 96,000 new members through the first nine months of 2013 for a total of 4.69 million members.
 
Alabama's 120 credit unions added $512 million in new assets through September for a total of $18.3 billion. Florida's 159 credit unions have added $1.6 billion in new assets for a total of $47.1 billion.
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