Credit unions in Alabama and Florida ended 2012 with a record number of assets for the third straight year, the League of Southeastern Credit Unions reports.
The 285 credit unions in the two states added $3.1 billion in assets. For Alabama, this equates to a 6% growth for the year and a record $17.7 billion in total assets, the league said. Alabama credit unions added just over $1 billion in new assets for the year, according to the LSCU.
For Florida, the growth rate in 2012 was just under 5% for a record $45.5 billion in assets. Florida credit unions added $2.1 billion in new assets for the year, the league said.
“A trend we’ve noticed for the past three years now is that credit unions are gaining a greater share of wallet from existing members,” said LSCU & Affiliates President/CEO Patrick La Pine.
“While membership is rising most quarters, there are more assets being added than members. This shows existing credit union members are seeing the value and moving more of their money to the credit union,” La Pine said.
Alabama credit unions added 6,000 new members for the fourth quarter of 2012 to end the year with a record 1.83 million members. This equates to a 3% membership growth rate, well above the national credit union average, the league said, and gives Alabama the 17th highest credit union growth rate in the country.
Florida credit unions membership numbers dipped in the fourth quarter, however, when financial institutions typically purge dormant accounts.
On the lending side, Alabama and Florida credit unions saw a positive growth rate for the first time in three years. Member business lending also continues to gain in both states, LSCU reported.
Alabama credit unions saw nearly a 13% gain, year over year, in member business loans. This is twice the national average and equates to $54 million in MBL growth.
What’s more, Florida credit unions outpaced the national average by producing a 6.8% growth rate, adding $81 million in new MBL loans.
Alabama’s overall lending jumped 3.4%, year over year, in the fourth quarter, stemming two years of no growth. Florida credit unions saw a 3.3% overall loan increase, year over year, in the fourth quarter, the league said.
This stops more than three years of no loan growth. Alabama and Florida credit unions continue to see good demand for automobile and first mortgage loans. Both are above the national credit union average, according to LSCU.
In a sign that the loans being made in each state are better quality, delinquencies and net charge offs continue to fall. Florida’s delinquent loans to loans and net charge offs fell for the third year in a row. In Alabama, delinquent loans to loans remained consistently low, while net charge offs fell for the fourth straight year. The Alabama net charge off rate is lower than the national credit union average.
“For the first time in years, Alabama and Florida credit unions are seeing loan growth. This is a testament to an improving economy and more members purchasing homes and autos,” said La Pine. “Credit unions typically have lower rates and more consumers are finding purchasing a home or vehicle from a credit union saves them significant money.”