TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (8/1/11)--Credit unions in Alabama and Florida are showing growth in assets and membership while also continuing to meet the lending needs of their members, said the League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU). In the first quarter of 2011, Florida credit unions added $1.1 billion in assets, or 2.6%, on par with the national credit union average, while Alabama credit unions added $763 million, or 5%, which is nearly twice the national credit union average. For Alabama, it continues an upward trend of five years of growth that has added $3.9 billion in assets to its 127 credit unions. Membership grew in Florida by 15,000 members in the first quarter, and Alabama added 6,000. In a sign the economy is improving, Southeastern credit unions are seeing a decline in provisions of loan losses, delinquent loans and net charge-offs. Alabama credit unions’ delinquent loans and net charge-offs are well below the national credit union average, while Florida credit unions are above the national credit union average, but saw a 20 basis points fall in delinquent loans in the first quarter, and a 39 basis points improvement in net charge offs. Southeastern credit unions are also working with small businesses. In the first quarter, Alabama and Florida credit unions collectively made $54.8 million dollars in member business loans. This is a 5% increase year over year from 2010. “We know the weak economy is continuing to hamper our credit union members,” said LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine. “However, we are encouraged by the number of quality loans our credit unions are making. Plus, credit unions are meeting the needs of their members looking for member business loans, as well as new- and used-auto loans. With our growth in assets and members, plus the amount of loans being made, it feels that the worst is behind us.” Southeastern credit unions are making new- and used-auto loans well above the national credit union average. Total auto loans to loans in Alabama and Florida are both above the national average with Alabama loans 10% above and Florida loans 2.5% above. Alabama credit unions used-auto loans are 27%, while the national average is 18%. Florida credit unions are close to the national average in used-auto loans, but above the national average in new auto loans at 14%, while the national average is just under 11%. This shows that more members are making purchases and understand their credit union has money to lend, LSCU said. Credit union members’ savings are growing at a strong pace, the league said. Southeastern credit union members saved a total of $1.8 billion in the first quarter. A further look inside the numbers show that Alabama members’ savings stayed steady at 5.5%, nearly twice the national average, while Florida members saved at a 2.8% clip. This is slightly below the national average, but an almost 4% improvement from the 2009 results.