SAN ANGELO, Texas (9/23/09)--Despite being outnumbered by banks by a three-to-one margin, credit unions in the San Angelo, Texas, area have established and maintained a solid presence in the community despite tough economic times. Membership in six San Angelo credit unions with open membership totaled 59,542 members as of March, according to National Credit Union Administration figures (San Angelo Standard-Times Sept. 19). After peaking at 64,570 members in 2003, the number dipped to a recent low of 57,583 in 2007 before rebounding, the newspaper said. “A credit union is a co-op, like a farmers’ co-op,” Brett Nikolauk, president of Qualtrust CU, Irving, Texas, told the paper. “A credit union serves people who are like-minded.” Credit unions have weathered the economic turbulence better than banks mostly because they are financially conservative organizations, Dwight Johnston, vice president for economic and market research for Western Corporate FCU, in San Dimas, Calif., told the paper. Kaye Edwards, president of San Angelo FCU, observed a trend toward more saving among her credit union’s members. While the credit union’s assets are growing, loans remain flat, she told the paper. Although the credit union’s outlook is positive, she has some concerns about the long-term future, she added. “Our membership is growing older; the boomers are aging,” Edwards told the paper. “A lot of young people are ‘unbanked,’ you know, like people are ‘unchurched’--they don’t have a financial institution. What we really want to do is show people how financial institutions can help them. We’d like to draw in more young people.” For the full story, use the link.