Editor’s Column: Dirty Data Dumps on Credit Unions
In the aftermath of the NCUA’s release of second-quarter data, several interesting pieces made their way to my inbox last week. One analysis that stirred quite a bit of debate came from The Financial Brand, stating that if current merger and closure trends continue, there will be half the number of credit unions in existence two decades from now.
The stat just stands there, neither positive nor negative. It’s simply exhibited naked to the world. The number of credit unions with less than $100 million in assets has declined by more than 2,200 between 2007 and 2012. Meanwhile, the credit unions with more than $1 billion in assets have increased by 71 to 194, but they only represent 2.7% of credit unions. Credit unions under the $100 million threshold represent 79.6% of credit unions, down from 85%, according to The Financial Brand.
If these credit unions are gaining so many members and assets, it stands to reason some are heading in the other direction. Membership at credit unions with less than $100 million in assets are losing members, to the tune of approximately 1 million per year between 2007 and 2012 (more than 2 million between 2009 and 2010) for a total negative growth rate of 6 million members.
That figure is before accounting for population growth in the U.S., which according to Wikipedia was 0.91% for the 12 months ending July 2011, based on U.S. Census data. That negative 6 million is even worse than it appears. And these credit unions have lost more than $5 billion in assets during that time.