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2011 CU membership growth impressive Cheney says
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (3/2/12)--The number of credit union memberships nationwide grew to 91.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) reported, setting a new historical high to end a year that saw many move their money from larger banks into credit unions on Bank Transfer Day.

Credit union membership increased by 398,000 in the fourth quarter of 2011, and 1.3 million over the course of the year, the NCUA added in its analysis of the call report data submitted by the nation's 7,094 federally insured credit unions.

Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney said the NCUA numbers demonstrated "very impressive membership growth for credit unions," and added that the large increase in members in the fourth quarter "is very positive compared to declines in prior years."

Net worth and assets both climbed when compared to 2010 fourth quarter results, increasing by 6.9% and 5.2%, respectively. Credit union net worth totaled $98.4 billion as of Dec. 31, and credit unions held $961.8 billion in assets as of that date. The credit union industry's return on assets (ROA) ratio, a measure of earnings, also increased over 2010's total, standing at 68 basis points (bp) as of Dec. 31. The NCUA noted that credit union industry ROA has increased by 50 bp since December 2009.

NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz noted "credit unions ended 2011 in a safer and stronger position than at the start of the year," as net income increased by 41.2% over 2010's total, finishing the year at $6.4 billion.

The NCUA also reported the following results between the fourth quarters of 2010 and 2011:

  • Shares increased 5.2% to $827.4 billion from $786.4 billion;
  • Investments, cash on deposit, and cash equivalents increased 12.4% to $352.1 billion from $313.3 billion; and
  • Loans increased 1.2% to $571.5 billion from $564.7 billion.
"Credit unions' net income and other growth numbers reinforce that new safety and soundness  rules are not needed, certainly, for the vast majority of credit unions," CUNA Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn  said.

For more on the NCUA's fourth quarter credit union statistics, use the resource link.
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