Until credit unions can place a larger share of assets into member loans, deposit growth may continue to stall.
That’s the forecast according to CUNA Mutual Group’s December CU Trends Report.
Growth will also be controlled by continued low deposit pricing, the report noted. CUNA’s data showed the national average rates paid on deposits fell again to new record lows. This trend is reaffirmed by NCUA third quarter data that showed credit unions’ cost-of-funds at just 59 basis points, down 15 basis points from a year ago.
During the past year, the 9.2% annual gain in regular shares accounted for 63% of savings growth and the 12.3% gain in share drafts contributed 32%, the data showed. When combined with money market accounts, 116% of the savings gain was attributable to liquid deposit accounts; certificates of deposit and individual retirement account balances were down year-to-date and year-over-year.
Savings and assets unexpectedly ticked up in October, the latest month tracked, with 78% of the deposit gain attributable to an increase in share draft balances, said CUNA Mutual Chief Economist Dave Colby in the report. November deposits were expected to be higher than usual due to five payroll Fridays in the month.
Meanwhile, total credit union assets climbed to $1.087 trillion in October, reflecting 5.4% annual growth. Colby said the long-term trend rate of asset growth was 6.2% or 77 basis points higher.
Still, not all credit unions are growing assets, Colby pointed out. According to third quarter data, 2,306 of them or 34%, reported asset declines during the past 12 months. These credit unions hold 10% of industry assets, he added.