The Ohio Credit Union League is celebrating what it said was a record, fifth straight quarterly increase in credit union members. Roughly 10,000 Ohioans joined credit unions in the first three months of 2010, the league said.
"The anti-bank sentiment among consumers and a 'flight to safety' are making credit unions a popular alternative," said the league while promoting the "Move Your Money" campaign. The league said the campaign, launched by New York pundit Arianna Huffington has been a factor in boosting member growth.
"We think this is pretty strong considering we had 17,000 [new members] for the period from March 31, 2009 to March 31, 2010," said Patrick Harris, director of media relations for the league.
The member gains "should not come as a surprise anymore as membership growth at credit unions has moved beyond just a trend and is now a regular occurrence," said Paul Mercer, CEO of the league.
In a statement reviewing first quarter summary, the league also promoted growth in CU member business lending as "the fastest growing loan category outpacing mortgages and auto loans."
"Ninety out of Ohio's 392 credit unions reported outstanding business loan balances, representing a total of $357 million statewide, a 12.7% increase from the previous March," said the league.
Meanwhile, the league reported delinquency rates "remain far below that of Ohio banks and thrifts, proving credit unions ability to manage large loans and adding pressure to Congress to grant extended business lending authority to credit unions."