VANCOUVER, B.C. (5/4/11)--British Columbia credit unions' earnings in 2010 reached a record $380.4 million--before taxes and dividends--an increase of 29.6% from the $293.6 million posted in 2009, announced Central 1 CU, the trade association for British Columbia and Ontario credit unions in Canada. Assets totaled $49.4 billion, up 2.1% or $1 billion. Asset growth was concentrated in residential mortgage loans, which increased 8.1% to $28.7 billion. The system's total loan portfolio was $41.5 billion at year-end. Home mortgages accounted for 69.2% of the loan portfolio, said Central 1. Loans to small and medium-sized businesses--representing 24.5% of the portfolio, were up by 3.4% to $10.2 billion. "As the B.C. economy improved during the year, credit unions successfully met their members' demand for loans and other financial services," said Don Rolfe, Central 1 president/CEO. "Credit unions saw steady loan growth in 2010, which they financed mainly through increased deposits by members." Growth was attributed to a high financial margin, mainly due to a 6.1% loan growth and favorable interest-rate spreads, as well as higher income from subsidiaries such as insurance agencies. Members' deposits were up 4%, reaching $44.1 billion. Membership totaled 1.72 million members at year-end, an increase of 24,790 members from 2009. Members received $42.6 million in dividends and patronage rebates.