Credit Cards Lead Weak Loan Growth
Credit cards led the way in what was overall very weak credit union loan growth in the second quarter, according to data reported to the NCUA.
The regulator reported that loans at the 7,445 federally insured CUs grew by only 0.1%. Unsecured credit cards grew at 1.7%, real estate loans by 0.4%, a boost the agency attributed to a 10.8% increase in mortgage modification loans. Used vehicle loans increased while loans for new vehicles dropped.
The agency also reported that overall delinquency and loan losses at CU "inched lower" in the second quarter, a fact NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz argued could mask bad news. "Credit unions in many areas continue to experience greater loan losses?particularly in states struggling with high unemployment, declining real estate values, and failing businesses," Matz pointed out. "These trends are also having a severe impact on many credit union members. As their debts become overwhelming, members who are dealing with job losses and foreclosures are now much more likely to file for bankruptcy."
However, credit unions' net worth ratio held steady at 9.9% in the second quarter, and more than 95% still meet or surpass the statutory definition of "well-capitalized."