MADISON, Wis. (9/22/14)--Credit unions in two Northwest states recently earned media coverage for their robust growth rates--success built as a result of the cooperative business model, according to Troy Stang, president/CEO of the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA).
Also, on a national note, the Puget Sound Business Journal cited credit unions for achieving the 100 million memberships milestone. "Nationwide membership cracked the 100 million mark in June for the first time, rising 2.9% over the past year as credit unions added 1.7 million members, according to the Credit Union National Association," a Sept. 19 article in the publication read.
The Business Journal went on to note the role Washington credit unions are playing in the national surge. Membership in Washington credit unions grew by an average of nearly 4% annually between June 2009 and June 2014 and now stands at more than 3 million statewide.
Credit unions hold 23% of the state's assets compared with 77% for commercial banks, the Business Journal reported, citing statistics from the NWCUA.
Washington's credit unions owe much of their success to the longstanding popularity of the co-op model, according to Stang. "Collectively, in the Northwest, there are a lot of cooperative values," Stang told the Business Journal. "We think of credit unions first as cooperatives and second ... as financial services businesses."
The Sept. 11 issue of the Idaho Business Review reported that Idaho remains one of the fastest-growing states within the credit union system. It ranks second for median growth in members, loans and assets, according to recent state-level data from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).
Idaho credit unions led the nation in the median loan-to-share ratio, according to NCUA statistics covering data from the second quarter.
A 4.7% growth in median asset rate was second in the nation and more than triple the national average of 1.3% for the year ending June 30. Idaho had a 2% growth in members, also second in the nation, behind Alaska.
Idaho's median growth rate for loans was 8.6%, more than double the national average of 3.2%.
State credit unions' median return on average assets of 53 basis points was well above the national average of 30 basis points. Nationally, 74% of all federally insured credit unions had positive earnings in the past year.