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Chart showing credit union mortgage originations stalling in the fourth quarter of 2020

Credit union earnings improved in the fourth quarter on the strength of a continuing high volume of mortgage originations and lower provisions for loan losses, according to Callahan & Associates.

The Washington, D.C.-based credit union company’s “Trendwatch” report released Thursday showed annualized return on average assets was 0.83% for the three months ending Dec. 31, down from 0.93% in the pre-pandemic fourth quarter of 2019, but up from 0.79% in the third quarter.

Originations stalled in the fourth quarter at a high level. Total originations were $179 billion, 19% higher than in 2019’s fourth quarter but below the five-quarter peak of $184 billion in the third quarter.

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Jim DuPlessis

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