BOISE, Idaho (7/31/14)--A July 21 Idaho Business Review article highlighted the success of Idaho's credit unions, noting that the state's cooperative financial institutions have more than doubled in size in the past decade.
In fact, Idaho-based credit unions saw their assets grow to $5.3 billion last year, up from $2.5 billion in 2004. That's a 113% increase; however, it is adjusted down to 73% growth with inflation.
Idaho credit union assets are fast approaching those of banks headquartered in Idaho. Idaho-based banks, which have roughly a quarter of all bank deposits in the state, had $6.4 billion in assets at the end of 2013, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. That amount has dropped for two straight years. Credit unions, however, have increased their assets by an average of 8% the past three years.
The state's four largest credit unions are Idaho Central CU, Pocatello, with $1.6 billion in assets; Potlatch No. 1 CU, Lewiston, with $676 million in assets; Westmark CU, Idaho Falls, with $555 million in assets; and Capitol Educators FCU, Meridian, with $384 million in assets. They have more than have the state's assets and all but Westmark have grown faster than the state average the past three years.
In the article, Todd Erickson, president/CEO of CapEd CU, said the many of the state's new credit union members have moved their money from banks because of negative service experiences.
At the same time credit unions came out of the recession relatively unscathed, Erickson said. They were able to continue lending through the economic downturn. "Our loan losses and delinquencies didn't really change," Erickson told the Business Review.
While banks make the age-old argument about the credit union tax status, credit unions are nonprofit financial institutions that are owned by their members. Any profits earned by the credit union are returned to the members.