Since February 2009, certificates of deposit balances at credit unions have declined by $10 billion while money market accounts increased by $29 billion.
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While money market accounts were the star of the savings show for most of 2009, individual retirement account balances made a steady rise at credit unions.
Another banking crisis possibly triggered by commercial real estate valuations and bank defaults and failures may do even more damage to credit access for small businesses.
Thanks to a fifth payroll on Friday in December, credit union money market accounts contributed 41% to all deposit gains for 2009 followed by regular shares and share drafts.
Member business loans, which accounted for 6% of all loans in 2009, increased 5.8% in 2009 but dropped below growth trends seen over the past several years.
The political and policymaking sides of the Federal Reserve's role were in full view last week as the Fed kept interest rate the same and lawmakers dragged out the vote on Chairman Ben Bernanke's second term.
If consumers continue looking outside of banks for the best rates on products like money market accounts, credit unions could gain another 1.7 million new members as they did last year.
As long as members continue to be uneasy about their financial and unemployment statuses, credit unions may continue to see a raise in their savings portfolios.
Credit union employees and volunteers who want to learn more about the impact of the nation's economic difficulties on their balance sheets can participate in CUNA Mutual Group's free Webinar on Feb. 16.