Credit union industry health declined during the third quarter of 2013, according to the latest Glatt Consulting Credit Union Industry HealthScore report, released Dec. 4.
Flagging asset and membership growth, lower earnings and operational efficiencies appear to be at fault, the Wilmington, N.C.-based consulting firm said.
The quarterly report indicated a third-quarter performance of 2.353, which marks a 2.04% decline from the second quarter 2013 performance and a 1.54% decline from third quarter 2012.
Despite negative scores in growth, earnings and operations, credit unions saw notable improvements in charge-offs and loan relationship, the report said.
The HealthScore system calculates overall credit union health by scoring and grading credit union performance across 11 different key ratios, including net worth, ROAA, operating expense, efficiency, charge-offs, delinquency, loans, deposits, loan-to-share ratio, asset growth and membership growth. Grading is based on a five-point scale, with 0 reflecting poor health and 5 reflecting exceptional health.
For the third quarter, the greatest concern is an increased number of credit unions with very low scores, said Principal Tom Glatt. Jr. During the second quarter of 2013, 132 credit unions had scores less than 1. For the third quarter, that number increased to 151.
Credit unions scoring less than 2 also increased from 1,743 in the second quarter to 1,912 in the third—an increase predominately driven by 118 Peer Group 3 credit unions with assets between $10 million and $50 million, whose health declined from quarter to quarter, Glatt's report said.
Peer group 3 credit unions also suffer from membership growth and retention shortfalls, a factor affecting other performance areas and foretelling of continued decline, the report said.
One bright light for the industry is that the majority of credit union assets are held by credit unions with scores in excess of 3, an indicator of the relative safety and soundness of the nation's credit union community overall.
Three credit unions—one each in Ohio, Oregon and Wisconsin—shared the highest score of 4.636. Six credit unions—one each located in Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia and two located in New York—shared the lowest score of 0.273.
The U.S. Virgin Islands, Delaware, and New Jersey possessed average scores of 1.8, 1.884, and 1.971, respectively, indicating concentrations of credit unions with low levels of performance.
The U.S. territory of Guam has the highest overall score of 3.273 and was the only state or territory with a score in excess of 3. The next highest scores of 2.989 and 2.982 were held by New Mexico and North Dakota, respectively.