ALEXANDRIA, Va. (11/30/09)--In its comprehensive report on third-quarter numbers for credit unions, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) disclosed increases in membership and lending from its 2008 levels and reported that the net worth of credit unions remained above 10 percent. First mortgage real estate loans, credit cards, and used auto lending “gained momentum in the third quarter,” the NCUA added. The call report data, which was gathered from all 7,637 federally insured credit unions, also showed a 7.7% increase in assets, an 8.4% increase in shares, a 24.7% increase in investments, and a 1.9% increase in membership, when compared with the numbers reported as of Dec. 31, 2008. However, the NCUA also noted some less fortunate news, reporting a “modest” 0.28% return on average assets and a slight increase in delinquent loans as a percentage of total loans, which were up to 1.68% as of Sept. 30, 2009. Net charge-offs to average loans also increased to 1.17 percent during the quarter, according to the NCUA. Federally insured credit unions increased provisions for loan and lease losses by 30.7% and have set aside a total of over $2 billion to cover losses on real estate loans. This data strengthens “the case for increased regulatory oversight as credit unions deal with adverse economic conditions," NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz said. The environment for financial institutions and consumers is still challenging, and Matz said that “credit unions must consider the unemployment rate, housing market weakness and overall economic volatility as they continue serving member needs.” “Likewise, NCUA is enhancing our supervision, and increasing the number of examiners and frequency of examinations, all of which reflect our strong commitment to assisting credit unions during this difficult time," Matz added. For the full NCUA report, use the resource link.