At a time when many economists worry about the impacts of a possible federal fiscal stalemate, a leading credit union consultancy predicts the industry will post record lending levels in 2013.
Washington, D.C.-based Callahan & Associates pointed to strong loan growth and responses from credit union executives it’s surveyed in 2012.
“The idea of the cooperative model is to fill a void in the marketplace, to be countercyclical,” said Jay Johnson, Callahan executive vice president. “Over the past few years we’ve seen that, and members are continuing to find value in their credit union.”
The firm reported that credit unions posted record loan originations in the third quarter, notching a 31% growth in loan originations over last year, topping $88 billion.
Since 2007, the start of the Great Recession, credit unions originated more than 105 million loans, to consumers and small businesses, totaling $1.5 trillion.
Callahan & Associates also noted that credit union membership growth has increased four times that of last year’s rate, with 2.6 million new members over the past 12 months, and that credit union members have opened 3.4 million new checking accounts in the same 12 month period, more than double the rate posted last year.