TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (10/11/10)--Second-quarter statistics indicate credit unions in Alabama and Florida added $615 million in assets, providing members in the Southeast evidence of the value of credit unions, said the League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU). This represents five straight years of collective growth in assets.
Credit unions’ assets in Alabama grew at a 4% rate, which is double the national credit union average. The net worth ratio for Southeastern credit unions remains very healthy, the league said, with Alabama credit unions’ net worth ratio at 11%, while Florida credit unions’ net worth ratio is 9%. The industry standard for a well-capitalized financial institution is 7%. Florida credit unions added 25,000 members in the first two quarters this year. They have seen positive member growth for three straight quarters. Southeastern credit unions also are seeing their loan delinquencies drop. Alabama’s delinquencies are 0.5% below the national credit union average, and net charge-offs have fallen to their lowest level in three quarters. Florida’s credit unions also experienced drops in loan delinquencies and net charge-offs for the first time in two years. This shows credit unions in the Southeast are turning the corner from the economic downturn of the past few years, the league said. “The challenges facing credit unions in Alabama and Florida have been steep with the high unemployment rates in both states and the depressed housing market in Florida,” said LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine. “Credit unions’ philosophy centers on helping people. The second-quarter statistics show that credit unions are working with members to keep them in their homes and to make payments on their loans. This will help position the member for long-term financial success.” While more credit union members are paying off debt, many in Alabama and Florida continue to save. Alabama credit unions recorded savings growth of nearly 1% greater than the national credit union average. Florida credit union member savings also has been positive for the past four quarters. Even with a tight credit market, Southeastern credit unions are maintaining loan portfolio numbers. New-, used- and first-mortgage loans have remained steady the past four quarters, the league said.