MADISON, Wis. (9/15/10)--Credit unions are growing faster than banks, as they generate lots of interest from consumers, according to several media reports. Philadelphia Police and Fire FCU, which has $3.7 billion in assets, had a 45% increase in total assets since 2007, to $8.2 billion as of June 30, reported The Philadelphia Inquirer (Sept. 12). This compares with a 12% growth in assets at area banks. Credit unions in the Philadelphia area have surged during the past three years because of friendlier service at a lower cost, the newspaper added. It also quoted Walt Ross, a Citadel FCU member who joined after banking with Susquehanna Bank. Ross was thrilled when the Thorndale, Pa.-based credit union opened a branch near his home in Chester County. Citadel FCU has $1.5 billion in assets. University of Iowa Community CU, Iowa City, Iowa, said its mortgage lending volume was more than double in August compared with last year. Refinancing demand made August one of the credit union’s best months in history for mortgage demand, Amy Henderson, vice president of mortgage lending, told The Cedar Rapids Gazette (Sept. 11). The credit union has $986.2 million in assets. John Forck of Cedar Rapids told the newspaper that he and his wife got a financing offer from the credit union to reduce the couple’s home interest rate by 1.4%, shorten their loan term and tap their home equity to upgrade their home. Refinancing demand at Collins Community CU, Cedar Rapids, was up 120% over last year. The credit union has $591 million in assets. The loan officers are “wearing thin,” Steve Shepherd, executive vice president, told the newspaper.