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MADISON, Wis. – April brought in strong deposit inflows pushed by surplus funds, which were up 1.4% for the month to $229 billion. The just released April edition of CUNA Mutual Group’s Credit Union Trends Report showed surplus funds, which is cash plus investments, are up a “healthy” 5.9% but remains 3.6% or $8.6 billion below the April 2004 level. Surplus funds now equal 33% of total assets versus 36% a year ago and more than 52% are in agency securities with 15% at corporate credit unions. Meanwhile, April also saw annual capital growth improve to 8.2%, said Dave Colby, CUNA Mutual chief economist. “This is attributable more to a weak April 2004 than improving current results, as the YTD gain is just 2.2%,” Colby said. “Capital additions remain difficult to achieve as the movement average annualized ROA (return on average assets) held at 92 basis points according to NCUA Call Report data.” With $74.5 billion in total capital, the capital-to-asset (C/A) ratio was unchanged from March at 10.8%, according to the report, “but was up nicely” from the 10.5% recorded in April 2004. A 1.1% month-only gain in total loans helped push the loan-to-share (L/S) ratio to 73.7%. The L/S ratio is now 390 basis points above April 2004. “Given that the average loan yield is 323 basis points above the average investment yield, a higher L/S ratio is a major factor in CUs’ maintaining their ROA,” Colby noted. “We expect CUs to increase their L/S ratio to over 75% by year-end as loan growth is forecast to exceed share increases.” The C/A ratio is forecast to finish 2005 at its current level, Colby added and a rise in personal bankruptcies by year-end will offset operational gains. The loan delinquency rate (loans two or more months delinquent as a percent of total loans) remained unchanged in April. At 0.64%, this key measure is six basis points below April 2004, the report said.

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