CHARLOTTE, N.C. (2/5/09)--Carolina credit unions are toughing out the nationwide financial crisis. Sharonview FCU, Fort Mill, S.C., grew its deposits by 13% in 2008. The credit union also added $100 million to its assets, ending the year with $957 million (Charlotte Business Journal Feb. 2). Credit unions are very conservative with what they do, said John Carlson, Sharonview president/CEO. Carlson is cognizant of members’ apprehension about the future. There is “a lot of pain” out there, but the credit union will approach this year conservatively, he told the newspaper. Some credit unions are boosting their loan loss provisions to cushion themselves. Charlotte Metro CU increased its loan loss provision to $1.25 million in 2008, the paper said. While credit union members are experiencing tough times, the Charlotte branch of Raleigh-based State Employees CU (SECU), is ready to help. Credit unions “have a great opportunity to do what’s right and step up and help our members,” said Jerry Harmon, SECU Charlotte branch manager. Credit unions can grab market share because smaller banks will have a harder time raising capital, said University of North Carolina-Charlotte banking professor Tony Plath. The bottom end of the market will go to credit unions, and they can increase commercial real estate and local business lending, he told the paper.