Rates & Ratios: CU Assets Reach Milestone

Reaching $1 trillion in assets is an impressive feat, but one that demands perspective.

May 4, 2012

Credit union total assets passed the $1 trillion mark for the first time in March 2012, ending the month at $1.02 trillion, according to CUNA’s economics and statistics department.

Overall, assets grew 2.4% during March and 4.1% over the past year. Credit union assets have more than doubled since year-end 2000.

Reaching $1 trillion in assets is an impressive feat—but one that demands perspective, says CUNA Senior Economist Steve Rick.

JP Morgan Chase Bank, for instance, has $1.8 trillion in assets, and banking industry assets total $13.9 trillion.

The average bank has $1.9 billion in assets, versus $137 million for credit unions. The median-sized credit union, however, has just $19 million in assets, Rick says.

According to the Rule of 72, credit union assets could reach $2 trillion in slightly more than 14 years, Rick says.

Other measures:

• Loans. Credit union loans outstanding remained constant during March 2012, after a 0.2% decrease in February. Fixed-rate mortgages led loan growth with a 1.5% increase, followed by used auto loans, 0.8%, and new auto loans, 0.2%.

On the decline were unsecured personal loans (1.2%), adjustable-rate mortgages (1.1%), home equity loans (1%), and credit cards (0.7%).

• Savings. Credit union savings balances grew 2.5% in March compared to a 2.1% increase in February.

Growth was highest in share drafts, at 6.9%, followed by regular shares, 4.7%, money market accounts, 1.9%, and individual retirement accounts, 1.5%.

One-year certificates declined 0.6% during March.

• Asset quality. Credit unions’ 60+ day delinquency rate dropped from 1.6% to 1.5%.

• Liquidity. The loan-to-savings ratio fell from 68% in February to 66% in March.

The liquidity ratio (the ratio of surplus funds maturing in less than one year to borrowings plus other liabilities) grew from 21% to 22% during this time.

• Capital. The movement’s overall capital-to-asset ratio remained at 10%. The total dollar amount of capital is $102 billion.

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