BISMARCK, N.D. (4/20/11)--North and South Dakota Credit Unions ended 2010 with a strong combined net worth of 9.97% (9.35% for South Dakota, 10.57% for North Dakota), according to the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas (CUAD). Roughly 91% of credit unions ended 2010 with a net worth above the 7% well-capitalized requirement. This includes 47% of the credit unions that have a net worth in excess of 10%. “Credit unions in the Dakotas generally are well-capitalized and are in sound financial position to serve their members in the coming years,” said Robbie Thompson, CUAD president/CEO. Loan growth for credit unions in the two states also increased in 2010, although by a smaller amount than the previous four years when loan growth was over 10%. Their loan growth in 2010 was 3.29% (0.55% S.D., 5.95% N.D.). “Credit unions in the Dakotas have money to lend and have continued making loans in the current economic environment. They have been and continue to be there for their members even in difficult times,” said Thompson. “However, it is not surprising that overall loan growth is down as this corresponds to the nationwide trend of consumers paying down their existing debt and not taking on new debt,” he added. Since 2006, share deposits in North and South Dakota credit unions have grown more than 34% or $1.04 billion. The national trends of consumers attempting to save more and spend less are reflected in the growth trend in consumer deposits at Dakota credit unions over the past years. However, saving growth slowed in 2010. Dakota credit unions saw a deposit growth rate of 7.94% (6.85% S.D., 9.04% N.D)--lower than the 20+% average annual growth rate they have seen in thepast five years. Credit union membership in the Dakotas has remained virtually unchanged since 2006. For 2010 credit unions membership growth was 0.58% (0.76% S.D., 0.38% N.D.). Membership at the end of 2010 totaled 444,873 credit union members in the states, compared with 438,415 members at the end of 2006. Membership growth from 2006 to 2010 was 1.47%, for an average annual growth of 0.37% (0.31% S.D., 0.44% N.D.). These numbers reflect credit union membership growth rate well below population growth rate in both states during the same period. At the end of 2010, North Dakota credit unions report just over 30% of the population as members (202,181 members out of 675,591total population). South Dakota has just over 29% of the population as members (242,692 members out of 814,180). “Obviously we know that credit unions are the best place for most Americans to perform financial services, yet we still have less than one-third of the population of our states as members and only around 10% of the deposits. We need to create greater awareness of credit unions, the credit union difference, and the benefits of credit unions,” said Thompson.