The average credit union loan-to-share ratio has finally climbed back above 70%.
An increase in the lending metric to 70.3% in December 2013, up from 68.6% one year prior, was among the good balance sheet news in CUNA’s monthly sample of estimates for December 2013.
In the report, CUNA also said lending outpaced savings growth at credit unions last year for the first time since 2007. Reported loan balances also increased 6.8% in 2013, up from 4.8% in 2012.
"Credit union members were in a car-buying mood with new auto loans and used auto loans up 10.9% and 8.9%, respectively," said Steve Rick, CUNA senior economist. Rick said credit union loan balances are expected to increase 7% this year while credit union savings balances are expected to grow 4%.
"Expect households to release pent-up demand for autos, furniture and appliances over the next two years," he said.
Savings growth slowed to 4.3% in 2013 from 6.1% the prior year. And, credit union savings balances declined 0.1% in December, compared to a 0.9% increase in November.
One-year certificates (1.1%) and money market accounts (0.6%) increased during December 2013 while share drafts, regular shares and individual retirement accounts declined 5.3%, 0.1%, and 0.04%, respectively. The savings rate is expected to remain below the 6.7% average of the last 20 years as economic improvement encourages households to spend rather than save, the report said.
CUNA said asset quality remains strong as demonstrated by the 60-day-plus delinquency rate remaining at 1% for the past 10 months. Credit union membership reached 98.87 million, growing 2.9% in 2013. Rick said he expects that number to exceed 100 million at some point in May or June 2014.