Credit unions showed improvements in several key indicators during the first quarter of the year, the NCUA reported.
Return on average assets reached 74 basis points, a sharp increase from 51 basis points year-end 2010.
CUNA Chief Economist Bill Hampel said his association is projecting ROA will be 60 basis points by year-end, after the NCUA announces the premium to cover the costs of rescuing corporate credit unions.
"It’s not quite as good as during the 20 years before the economic downturn when the average ROA was 90 basis points. But it’s a heck of a lot closer to that than to zero, which it was for many credit unions during the downturn," he said.
Shares rose to $811.7 billion from $786.4 billion at the end of December. Net income increased 10.55%.
Investments reached $253.8 billion, up from $238.9 million.
Net worth increased to $93.6 billion from $92 billion. The net worth ratio dropped 10 basis points to 9.96%, which the agency said was a result of assets growing faster than capital.
Credit unions held $939 billion in assets at the end of March, up from $914.5 billion year-end 2010. There were 90.8 million members of federally insured credit unions, compared with 90.5 million at year-end.
NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz praised the improving financial condition of the industry, stating, "The solid financial start to 2011 shows the resilience of the industry, and credit unions as a group continue to make solid progress during the economic recovery. As we map the road ahead, NCUA will continue its efforts to keep credit unions well-positioned to serve American consumers."
Loans declined to $560.0 billion in the quarter, from $564.8 billion.
Loan growth is often slow during the first quarter as consumers try to pay off debts from the holidays. Hampel predicted it will pick up later this year as the economy continues to improve.
Delinquencies, charge-offs and bankruptcies were all down.