Alabama and Florida credit unions are adding members at a record pace while making more member business loans and seeing delinquencies and net charge offs fall for three consecutive years, according to the League of Southeastern Credit Unions.
The league represents 285 CUs in Alabama and Florida and said that through the first three quarters of the year, they added 165,000 new members. In the third quarter alone, Florida’s 161 credit unions added 35,000 new members and Alabama’s 125 credit unions added 16,000 new members.
In both states, the credit unions have a record number of members – 4.7 million in Florida and 1.83 million in Alabama.
“Southeastern credit unions’ membership is growing at 2.5%, which is higher than the national credit union average (2.2%),” said League of Southeastern Credit Unions President/CEO Patrick La Pine. “We’ve seen five straight quarters of record growth. Between the two states, nearly 250,000 new members have joined a credit union during this span. This is an unprecedented stretch of membership growth.”
Also growing rapidly are member business loans in both states. Florida CUs have grown their MBLs 7.9% through three quarters of 2012, while CUs in Alabama have increased MBLs 7.6%. Those numbers are well above the national credit union average of 5.7%. What’s more, the new MBL growth numbers represent more than 5% increase in MBL growth over 2011.
As the economy improves, members also are taking out loans again, the league said. Florida and Alabama credit unions saw a 2% growth in auto, mortgage and other loans through three quarters of 2012. This trend is significant since loan growth was negative the past two years in both states, the league said.
What’s more, delinquent loans and net charge offs are improving with each quarter. In Alabama, for example, delinquent loans are 1.3%, compared to the national average of 1.18%. Florida’s delinquent loans are higher at 2.3% but down from 2.86% in 2011 and 3.16% in 2010.
Net chargeoffs at Alabama CUs are .65%, below the national charge off rate of .72%. At Florida CUs net charge offs are 1.3%, but below the past two years (1.79% in 2011 and 2.21% in 2010).
“More consumers need to know that credit unions have money to lend. There is a feeling in the marketplace that small businesses and consumers can’t get a loan,” said La Pine. “That’s simply not true at credit unions. They continue to market loans to consumers and the loans they are making are more quality in nature.”
Asset growth in Alabama and Florida has increased substantially. Total assets of credit unions in both states collectively added $3 billion in assets through the first three quarters, which is $500 million more than what was added last year, according to the LSECU.
Alabama credit unions grew their assets by 5.6% to $17.6 billion in the first three quarters of 2012, which is slightly higher than the nation average of 5.3%. Among Florida’s credit unions, assets grew by $4.8% to $45.5 billion. Two years ago, asset growth among Florida CUs was in negative territory.
Finally, Alabama credit unions collectively have an 11% net worth ratio while Florida CUs have a 10% net worth ratio for the first time in four years, the LSECU reported. A financial institution is considered well capitalized with a net worth ratio of seven percent.
“Overall you can see that 2012 is on pace to be the best year that credit unions in Alabama and Florida have had since the financial crisis hit in 2007,” said La Pine. “A number of factors are contributing to it, including an improving economy, a greater awareness of the benefits of being a credit union member, the LSCU Cooperative Image Campaign, and the great marketing being done by individual credit unions”