LANSING, Mich. (12/8/10)--Michigan’s credit unions continued to strengthen their financial positions in the third quarter, with strong earnings and growth in membership--54,000 new members since year-end 2009, according to the Michigan Credit Union League & Affiliates. Third-quarter statistics from the National Credit Union Administration and the Credit Union National Association highlight the continued deposit growth (7.3% for the 12 months ending Sept. 30), business loan growth (22.9%), and strong return on assets (ROA)--up to 34 basis points from 28 at mid-year, the league said. “As Michigan’s economy begins to recover, credit unions continue to grow and lend to small businesses and consumers,” said David Adams, league CEO. “The third quarter saw improvement for credit unions’ already strong financial indicators, allowing our industry to continue to support the state’s economy through lending.” Michigan continues to have the highest percentage of credit union membership among the 10 most populous states, at 44%, the league said. In the third quarter, nearly 40,000 residents moved their money to a local credit union, bringing total credit union membership in the state to 4,488,110. Other key statistics:
* Michigan’s credit unions showed stronger than expected ROA of 0.34%, despite high loan losses from a challenging economy, and continuing loan and deposit growth. * The net worth to assets ratio, a key measure of financial strength, shows Michigan credit unions held steady in the third quarter at 10.8%, higher than the national credit union average (10%). * As Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.-insured institutions pulled back on lending (down 8%), Michigan credit unions still showed positive loan growth (0.7%) for the 12-month period ending Sept. 30. Specific areas of growth included used auto loans (up 9.9%), first mortgages (up 2.9 %) and credit cards (up 4.2%). * For the 12 months ending Sept. 30, business loans by credit unions showed strong growth, up 22.9%, while the national growth rate for credit unions was 6.9%. For Michigan banks, commercial lending declined by 3.1% through September. Nationally, commercial lending by banks declined by 7.8% during the period. * Credit union deposits grew by 7.3% through the 12 months ending Sept. 30, including 17.6% growth in money market account balances, as consumers seek the safety and higher rates offered by credit unions. * Michigan credit unions also continued making real estate loans (up 0.2%), while banks cut back (down 8.6% in Michigan, down 5% nationally) for the 12 months ending Sept. 30.