PEWAUKEE, Wis. (11/17/10)--Although most of Wisconsin’s large credit unions saw their earnings dip during the first three quarters of 2010, none of them has lost money, according to the latest data from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). Seven of the 10 biggest state-chartered credit unions had lower net income in the first nine months of 2010, said NCUA (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Nov. 15). Only Summit CU in Madison, Community First CU in Appleton, and Royal CU in Eau Claire saw increased net income in the first three quarters of the year, the newspaper said. "There's no doubt financial institutions of all kinds face more difficulty now in sustaining earnings," Brett Thompson, president/CEO of the Wisconsin Credit Union League, told News Now. "However, credit unions have clearly done what it takes to manage their bottom line while at the same time helping their member-owners weather the financial challenges they're facing. Credit unions' real success has been in how well they've done that for members. And in these economic times, members have discovered their credit unions were there when they needed them." Most of the state’s big credit unions increased their reserve allocations to account for any potential bad debt--an action that diminishes the net income for financial institutions, the paper said. “It’s the economy,” Suzanne Cowan, director of Wisconsin’s Office of Credit Unions, told the paper, adding “rates are so low [that] there’s not a lot of interest-rate margins, so that reduces the interest income that the credit unions earn.” Also, credit unions have to pay premiums this year to the NCUA’s National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, which insures credit unions if they fail, the paper said. In light of the struggling economy and low interest rates, “credit unions have done pretty well,” Cowan told the paper.