PEWAUKEE, Wis. (8/5/13)--Earnings increased at large Wisconsin credit unions in the first half of the year, boosted by a strong lending environment and a slowly improving economy, said the Wisconsin Credit Union League in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (July 30).
Delinquency rates and loan losses have trended down, while the cost of funds remains low at state credit unions, Brett Thompson, league CEO, told the Journal Sentinel.
Auto and a residential real estate lending have improved much faster than the rest of the economy, the Journal Sentinel said.
Income at Royal CU, Eau Claire increased almost 91%, thanks to fewer loan losses and reduced expenses, according to new data from the National Credit Union Administration.
Consolidation among Wisconsin credit unions is likely to continue, Thompson told the Journal Sentinel. Last year, 13 Wisconsin credit unions merged into other credit unions, according to the state Department of Financial Institutions.
The two main forces driving consolidation are increasing and more-complex financial regulations, and the difficulty of attracting financial professionals interested in running a small credit union, Thompson said.
Credit unions also continue to see strong demand for member business loans, Thompson said. Credit unions maintain they can do more for small businesses if the cap on their member business loans were lifted to 27.5% of total assets from 12.25%. The Credit Union National Association has estimated that lifting the MBL cap would create 140,000 jobs and inject $13 billion in new funds into the economy, at no cost to taxpayers.