BIRMINGHAM, Ala., and TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (6/26/14)--Alabama and Florida credit unions continue to report record asset and membership numbers, and now lending is showing signs of strength, especially in Florida, which was among the states hardest hit by the recession, the League of Southeastern Credit Unions reported.
The 278 collective credit unions in the two states added $2.2 billion in new assets and 100,000 new members in the first quarter. When broken down by state, Alabama's 120 credit unions added $479 million in new assets for a record $18.8 billion and 9,000 new members for a record 1.88 million members. Florida's 158 credit unions added $1.8 billion in new assets for a record $49 billion in assets and 91,000 new members for a record 4.8 million members.
"We can see that members are doing more than just joining a credit union," said Patrick La Pine, LSCU president/CEO. "The loan growth shows that more small businesses are getting help from their credit union, more families are able to upgrade their vehicle, and families continue to save money."
In Alabama, credit unions added $23 million in new loans, with the surge driven by used-auto lending. Alabama's credit unions are making 8% more used auto loans than the national credit union average. They are also making 4% more than the national credit union average on overall auto loans. In Florida, credit unions added $339 million in new loans, with $48 million coming from new member business loans. Florida's credit unions also are making about 3% more auto loans than the national credit union average.
Alabama members added $429 million to their savings in the first quarter, while Florida members saved $1.5 billion.
Delinquency and charge-off rates are dropping in both states. Delinquencies at Alabama's credit unions delinquency rate fell 30 basis points (bp) to just over 1% and the net charge-off rate is 0.56%, right at the national credit union average.
Florida's credit unions have seen their delinquency rate cut in half in five years. Delinquencies improved another 33 bp in the first quarter to drop to 1.29%. Net charge-offs were also cut in half over the past five years to 0.77%, which is just 25 bp above the national credit union average. This is a dramatic improvement since 2011.
Credit unions are local with the workforce all coming from within the communities where they are located. Alabama credit unions added 52 new full-time employees in the first quarter and have added nearly 300 new full-time employees since 2011. In Florida, 77 new full-time employees were added to payrolls in the first quarter, and 836 new full-time employees have been hired since 2011.