Montana: Big Sky Country Partly Cloudy for Credit Unions
Montana’s economy is booming thanks to oil, but the Big Sky Country’s credit unions are still struggling to catch up.
Drilling equipment and crews are moving back to Montana and the state’s rig count has grown to 22 from just eight at this time last year. Montana's Department of Natural Resources and Conservation issued a record 356 oil drilling permits in the first 10 months of the year, easily beating the previous record of 313 set in 2005.
“We are seeing ever-increasing deposits despite lowering our rates, and our loans continue to decline,” she said. “Our investment portfolio is now larger than our loan balances. We subscribe to the ‘total return’ philosophy on our investments, whereby we balance our portfolio and measure the actual cash returned rather than chasing yield.
“This has contributed to our interest income and offset a little of the loss in loan interest income. Plus, a lower corporate stabilization assessment expense helped move our ROAA higher.”