ALEXANDRIA, Va. (6/4/12)--Consistent with numbers that were released by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) early last month, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) late last week reported that the total amount of assets in the credit union system crossed the $1 trillion mark in the first quarter of 2012.
The total number of federally insured credit unions fell to 7,019 from 7,094 during the quarter, but a record 92.5 million members belonged to a credit union as of March 31, the NCUA added. Credit unions added 667,000 new members in the first quarter of 2012.
CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney said the credit union membership growth that began in the fall of last year "seems to have a 'tail' to it, as more and more consumers are realizing the value in credit union membership. This new-member growth likely also helped propel credit unions past the milestone of $1 trillion in total assets," Cheney added.
The NCUA quarterly report showed that the credit union industry netted nearly $2.1 billion in income during the quarter, an increase of $369.6 million from the prior quarter's total. The NCUA also reported that:
- Member total savings increased 4.7% during the quarter, totaling $866 billion;
- Credit union investments, cash on deposit, and cash equivalents increased 11.2% during the quarter, totaling $391.6 billion; and
- Total loans increased 0.1% during the quarter, totaling $572 billion.
Credit unions' return on assets (ROA) ratio stood at 84 basis points (bp) as of March 31, a 17-bp increase from the total reported at the end of 2011. Overall, the credit union industry's ROA ratio has grown by 66 bp since December 2009, the NCUA noted. (See related story, "CUs' annualized ROA on fastest pace since 2006," in News Now's
Net worth exceeded $100 billion during the same quarter, the agency reported, and both of these marks represent important milestones for the credit union industry, NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz said.
Share drafts, regular shares, and money market funds held at credit unions increased by 11.4%, 8.3%, and 3.8%, respectively, the NCUA reported. Credit unions' overall delinquency ratio dropped to 1.44% during the quarter, a 16-bp decline from the previous quarter's total, and the net charge-off ratio fell 13 bp, totaling 0.78%.
Loan growth at credit unions continued for the fourth straight quarter, increasing by $532.5 million to total $572 billion at the end of the quarter. Member business lending at credit unions increased by 1.4% during the quarter, the NCUA added.
"By year's end, we expect credit unions will have grown even stronger, as lending picks up, return on assets remains steady and net worth pushes even higher," Cheney said.