With annual gains in member business loans accounting for 15% of all loan growth, this portfolio segment has stayed basically the same during the first four months of 2012.
That’s according to CUNA Mutual Group’s June Credit Union Trends Report, which tracked data through April. Credit unions added $2.2 billion to their loan portfolios that month.
At $588 billion, total loans were up 2.3% or $13 billion since April 2011 and 0.1% year to date.
For the first time since 2005, vehicle loan growth was positive on an annual and YTD basis, the data showed. Gains in first mortgages overshadowed home equity and second mortgage loan declines.
Credit unions are expected to struggle with fixed-rate mortgage retention strategies as the industry appears to have hit new lows in interest rates each week, said David Colby, chief economist at CUNA Mutual, in his analysis.
During the first quarter, credit unions with assets in excess of $1 billion accounted for more than 67% of all annual loan growth. This, despite 58 of the 194 credit unions in this asset segment reported portfolio declines.
In total, 3,799 credit unions or 53% of all credit unions holding 35% of industry assets, reported loan portfolio declines between the first quarter of 2011 and the first quarter of 2012.
“Barring shocks, credit unions will have great finance and/or re-finance opportunities for several more quarters,” Colby said. “Improving members’ cash flow and personal balance sheets will provide future momentum to a recovery which is sustainable, because it begins at the street level.”