A renewed interest from consumers who have shunned banks and their new fees on traditional financial services led to credit unions growing their deposits by $41 billion in 2011.
According to Weiss Ratings, a rating agency of U.S. financial institutions, a review of fourth quarter 2011 data for 7,186 U.S. credit unions found that deposits increased 29.6% since the end of 2007, which was before the banking crisis began, jumping from $646.8 billion to $838.5 billion last year.
The firm said loan volume has also grown since the end of 2007 from $538.6 billion to $579 billion in 2011.
According to Weiss, the 10 largest credit unions topping the list for deposits and loans in 2011 were Bank-Fund Staff FCU in Washington, Eastman CU in Kingsport, Tenn., ESL FCU in Rochester, N.Y., Lockheed FCU in Burbank, Calif., Navy Federal in Vienna, Va., Pennsylvania State Employees CU in Harrisburg, Pa., Randolph-Brooks FCU in Live Oak, Texas, State Farm FCU in Bloomington, Ind., Teachers FCU in Hauppauge, N.Y., and Tinker FCU in Oklahoma City.
Gene Kirsch, senior financial analyst at Weiss, said credit unions have enjoyed renewed interest from consumers who are shunning banks and their new fees for many traditional banking services.
Still, despite the industry’s performance, Kirsch said there are still hundreds of weak credit unions across the nation. He advised consumers to carefully monitor the health of their financial institutions.
Credit unions experienced record membership growth in 2011 thanks in part to Bank Transfer Day.