Membership in U.S. credit unions grew by 2.6% during 2013. There are now 96.3 million credit union members in the U.S. with shares or deposits of $910 billion—up 3.7% from a year earlier.
Assets also increased at the nation’s CUs, led by loan growth of 8% during the year. The “New Auto Loan” category, in particular, was 12.8% higher than year-end 2012. That signals a definite rise in consumer confidence. Delinquency and charge-off rates remained steady.
The aggregate capital ratio for the credit union industry stood at 10.78% at 12/31/2013. Not only is that 13 basis points higher than the previous quarter, it is the highest CR since the first quarter of 2009. That’s the good news.
Return on Average Assets, on the other hand, keeps dropping. It was 85 basis points a year ago, 80 basis points a quarter ago and 78 basis points now. In search of higher yields trying to stem that trend, credit unions are increasing their long-term investments. Long-term investments, which were just 3.4% of assets at the end of 2009, now stand at 11.8%.
The percent of Recommended Credit Unions (rates 5-Stars or 4-Stars), while up from a year ago, is down from 77.37% last quarter to 76.48% now. Those rated 2-Stars or below now represent 3.34% of the credit unions—up from 3.15% a quarter ago and 3.12% a year ago.