Almost Everything’s Coming Up Roses: Editor/Publisher's Column
Much fanfare has been made over credit unions’ member growth resurgence over the past 18 months. It’s been wonderful to witness, and with the hard work of the entire credit union community, it can continue in perpetuity.
Loans are up, assets are up and membership is up—a winning trifecta. Loan growth for the 12-month period ending March 31 reached 4.9%, according to data recently released by the NCUA. This was more than double the growth achieved in the prior year. Lending is on the mend, to the point there’s debate among observers over whether we’re heading for a second housing bubble.
Regulatory and financial uncertainty have kept credit unions from merging at a faster pace, some out of necessity and some as strategy, but that is soon to change as the economy continues to stabilize and regulations from the CFPB are more deeply engrained in credit unions’ operations. Larger credit union combinations, such as the just-announced merger between First Community FCU and E&A CU in Michigan, are bound to become more common as credit unions search for scale to compete, comply and carry on.
In addition, you’ll see more failures of smaller credit unions and less-than-voluntary mergers, despite valiant efforts by the NCUA, the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions and others.