HARAHAN, La. (6/2/08)--In the wake of sustaining 5.7% loan growth in 2007, Louisiana credit unions are experiencing the sluggish loan growth that economists had forecast, with only 0.4% loan growth for the first quarter of 2008. The figures are provided by the National Credit Union Administration. Credit union members are likely to be more cautious about the kind of debt they assume, according to the Louisiana Credit Union League’s Research and Information Department, as indicated by the following state credit union statistics:
* Unsecured credit card loans decreased by -2.5%; * Other unsecured loans an line of credit decreased by -3.2%; * New car loans decreased by -1.7%; * Used car loans increased by 2.4%; and * First mortgage real estate loans increased by 3.8%.
“We recognize that credit union members are traditionally cautious consumers,” Jennifer Green, league assistant vice president, told News Now
. “These Louisiana statistics bear out that fact. Members across the state appear to be prudently planning for what lies ahead, and they continue to trust in the strength of their credit unions to provide the resources they need to manage in tough times.” Total shares and deposits increased 4.7% to $6.03 billion from $5.76 billion. This indicates that credit unions are providing competitive savings rates for their members, but credit unions be careful continue to monitor the cost of funds to make sure that shares are priced to avoid uncontrolled share growth, the league’s research and information department said. Membership also showed slow but steady growth with an increase of 0.9% to 1,126,012 from December 2007 through March 2008, the league said. The number of branches also increased to 426 from 419. And 23 credit unions reported plans to add new branches or expand existing facilities in the next 12 months. There was nearly a 5% increase in average salary and benefits for full-time credit union employees to $45,782 in March 2008 from $43,834 in March 2007.