JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (3/10/08)--State-chartered credit unions in Missouri grew in total investments, total loans, assets and shares in 2007, according to a state Division of Credit Unions report. Missouri's credit unions grew 2.2% in assets over 2006, to $7.964 billion in combined assets. That compares with a 1% growth the year before, said the division's "December 2007 Missouri State-Chartered Credit Union Consolidated Report." Total loans at year-end 2007 grew 1.8% to nearly $5.660 billion, compared with a 0.6% increase the year before. Total investments rose 9.3% to nearly $1.330 billion, compared with a 6.7% drop in investments during 2006. Net income for state-chartered credit unions totaled $26 million--down 47.6% over 2006. The drop is largely due to a 43.1% increase in non-operating income and expenses. "The net profit figures are a result of last year's volatile economy, year-end bonus dividends paid by credit unions, and a $6.5 million merger bonus dividend paid to members of Midwest United CU prior to the merger with Community/America CU," said Rosie Holub, president/CEO of the Missouri Credit Union Association. "Paying a merger dividend to Midwest United members is most appropriate in this type of transaction and reflects the cooperative structure of credit unions," Holub added. Also, a 22.7% increase in credit unions' provisions for loan/lease losses and a 20.6% increase in the cost of funds ate up some of the overall net income, as credit unions prepare for the aftermath of the subprime lending industry woes on other lending sectors.