At the close of 2011's second quarter, a handful of creditunions located in the sand states, where a teetering economy hasmade it most difficult for financial institutions to thrive, sharedhopeful bits of news: net worth ratio improvements, net incomeincreases, loan loss reductions and operating expense cutbacks.

But there's still a long road to recovery ahead for CUs in thesand states of California, Nevada, Arizona and Florida, say severalcredit union CEOs based in those regions. And another state, Utah,has become the newest member of the sand state club. In February2010, Utah League of Credit Unions President/CEO Scott Simpson declared Utah a sand state, stating it had caughtup with the bankruptcies and foreclosures the original four stateshad suffered.

Callahan & Associates' current state-by-state return onassets data shows several of the sand states lagging behind therest of the nation. Of all 50 states plus Puerto Rico, Guam, theU.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia, Nevada ranks rockbottom with a return on assets of negative 0.33%. Florida ranks38th with 0.59%, Utah comes in at 35th with 0.60%, California ranks19th with 0.79%, and Arizona is 14th on the list with 0.85%.

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Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha Chilingerian has been immersed in the credit union industry for over a decade. She first joined CU Times in 2011 as a freelance writer, and following a two-year hiatus from 2013-2015, during which time she served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta Federal Credit Union), she re-joined the CU Times team full-time as managing editor. She was promoted to executive editor in 2019. In the earlier days of her career, Chilingerian focused on news and lifestyle journalism, serving as a writer and editor for numerous regional publications in Oregon, Louisiana, South Carolina and the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, she holds experience in marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space. At CU Times, she covers People and Community news, cybersecurity, fintech partnerships, marketing, workplace culture, leadership, DEI, branch strategies, digital banking and more. She currently works remotely and splits her time between Southern California and Portland, Ore.