The capital-to-asset ratio at credit unions was 10.2% in February, according to a report issued by CUNA today.
It was the third consecutive monthly decline and a drop from January's level of 10.7%. In February 2008 it was 11.1%.
Total credit union capital was $88.5 billion, down from all-time-high of $90.8 billion last November.
"With the recession expected to boost savings and asset growth to double digits in 2009, the overall credit union capital-to-asset ratio could fall to around 9% by year-end," CUNA Senior Economist Steve Rick said in a statement. "Credit union buffers have not been that low since 1993."
Savings balances were $728 billion in February, an increase from January's level of $708 billion. The biggest growth was in share drafts (7.7%), individual retirement accounts 4.3%) and regular shares ($4.3%). There was a 2.5% increase in money-market accounts and a .9% increase in one-year certificates.
Outstanding loans decreased 0.14% during February 2009, compared with 0.06% during the same period last year. Fixed-rate mortgages led loan growth, increasing 1%, followed by home equity loans (0.4%). Used-auto loans fell 0.01%, as did new-auto loans (0.55%) and adjustable-rate mortgages (0.66%). Credit card loans and unsecured personal loans dropped the most, 2.69% and 1.89%, respectively.
CUNA reported that the loans-to-savings ratio declined to 79.9% in February from 82.2% in January. The liquidity ratio increased to 19.9% in February from 18% in January.
Credit unions' 60-plus day delinquencies remained constant at 1.5% in February.