RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (6/19/08)--Despite challenges from the economy, credit unions in California and Nevada experienced areas of growth in 2007, according to a new report. The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues recently released the 2008 WestScan economic activity report for credit unions in Nevada and California. Among the economic trends projected to affect credit unions in the states:
* Credit union loan growth showed impressive resiliency with 6.54% growth in 2007, slightly off 2006’s growth of 7.83%. Despite the lagging real estate market, first mortgage loans grew $5.3 billion in the fourth quarter, with 2007 loans of more than $20 billion, a 15.21% jump; * Return on average assets (ROA) was down 0.18 percentage points to 0.65% at year-end 2007 from 2006’s ROA of 0.83%. Credit unions nationwide also watched their net interest margin slip slightly, to 3.12% in 2007 from 3.17% in 2006; and * A modest 1.67 percentage point increase over 2006’s 84.03% in deposits indicates that while loan dollars continue to grow, credit unions currently should have sufficient deposit dollars to meet liquidity needs.
In California, gross income to average assets grew in 2007 to 6.98%, from 6.49% in 2006, according to the report. Assets for California credit unions grew by 3.93% in 2007--down a 0.57 percentage point from the previous year reading of 4.50%. Membership growth accelerated to 1.64% in 2007 from 1.04% in 2006, its highest increase since 2004. Mortgage lending grew at 13.03% and other real estate lending at 8.87%. In Nevada, first mortgage lending grew at 13.34%, credit cards grew at 27.39%, and unsecured lending grew at 24.32%. Membership growth accelerated to 0.30% in 2007 from 0.14% in 2006. Although down 3.55 percentage points from 2006’s 4.14% gain, assets still grew 0.59. WestScan is an annual financial report--with quarterly updates--that examines economic, financial, demographic, and other trends affecting credit unions in the two states.