ALEXANDRIA, Va. (6/1/11)-–National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Chairman Debbie Matz said the “solid financial start to 2011” reflected by first quarter credit union call report data released on Tuesday “shows the resilience” of the credit union industry and demonstrates that credit unions are continuing “to make solid progress during the economic recovery.” The NCUA’s quarterly survey compiles the results of 2011 first quarter call report data from 7,292 federally insured credit unions. The report noted that the most telling sign of credit union recovery was the 23 basis point (bp) increase in return on average assets (ROA). ROA totaled 74 bp during the quarter. The agency also noted improvements in several key indicators, including a 2.72% increase in assets, a 3.21% increase in member shares, and a 10.55% increase in net income. Net credit union income during the quarter totaled $1.7 billion. Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Chief Economist Bill Hampel said that the improvements in loan quality and net income “are really good signs, and are likely to persist throughout the year.” “Fueled largely by lower provision for loan loss expenses in 2011 than 2010, we expect credit union ROA to be at least 60 bp for the full year, even after the corporate stabilization assessment,” Hampel added. The number of credit union members increased by 300,000, totaling 90.8 million during the quarter. Total assets held at credit unions totaled $939 billion as of March 31, a $25 billion increase from the previous quarter’s numbers. Operating expenses and provisions for loan loss expenses also declined during the quarter, and net worth ratio dropped 10 bp due to assets growing more rapidly than capital, the NCUA said. The agency also noted improvements in several key indicators, including a 2.72% increase in assets, a 3.21% increase in member shares, and a 10.55% in net income. Net worth totaled $93.6 billion and investments, excluding cash on deposit or cash equivalents, totaled $253.8 billion, the NCUA reported. Loans were the only indicator to decline, falling 0.86% to a total of $560 billion. The NCUA said that credit unions made $564.8 billion in loans during the previous quarter. Credit quality continued to improve. While the delinquency rate remained near a 25-year high, it continued to drop, from 1.75% in December to 1.62% in March. The ratio of net charge-offs to average loans also fell, to 1% in the first quarter, a drop of 13 bp from the 2010 full-year rate, the NCUA said.