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Southeastern CUs Grow, Hire During 2Q
BIRMINGHAM, Ala., and TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (9/18/13)--Alabama and Florida credit unions' growth in membership has resulted in the addition of 433 full-time staff to the two states' credit unions in the past 12 months, said the League of Southeastern Credit Unions.

Florida credit unions added 400 new staff, while Alabama credit unions added 33. The hires fall in line with the recent membership surge, said LSCU.  Alabama added 79,000 new members in two years, while Florida added 47,000 during that period.

Each state also grew in assets, with Alabama adding $1.6 billion in assets in the two-year period, and Florida adding $4 billion.

"Alabama and Florida credit unions have generally seen positive growth numbers for nearly three years," said LSCU & Affiliates President/CEO Patrick La Pine. "What has been lagging behind is positive loan growth. We have seen loan numbers begin to climb the past two years. Credit unions are hiring to meet the loan demand and also adding positions that were eliminated during the recession," he added.

Alabama credit unions grew loans by $125 million--including $5 million in new member business lending (MBL)--from first to second quarter. Florida credit unions added $494 million in new loans, with $27 million of those in new MBLs.  The two states exceed the national credit union average in used-auto loans and total auto loans.

The states also continued the trend of lower delinquencies and net charge offs. Alabama delinquencies fell for the fourth straight year to 1.22%. Florida's fell to 1.96%, a 1.2% decline in four years. Net charge offs in Alabama declined 0.14% in four years to a quarterly low of 0.59%, while in Florida, they were cut in half during that period, with second quarter net charge offs at 1.06%.

"To see our Florida credit unions inching toward the national credit union average in both categories is nothing short of amazing," said La Pine. " Consumers have more disposable income  and they are once again looking at autos, buying homes and slowing expanding their businesses."

Net worth of credit unions in Alabama is a collective 11%, higher than the national credit union average of 10.5%. Florida's is 10.3% and includes a half percent growth in the past two years.  A credit unions is considered well-capitalized if its net worth is more than 7%, said LSCU.


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