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CUNA Mutual CU Trends Report: Consumer Sentiment Rebounds
Thursday, March 21, 2013 6:55 AM

Despite less income and dysfunction in Washington D.C., consumers are apparently moving forward with their lives.  Consumer sentiment, the CUNA Mutual Group reports, rebounded in February, the first reading following the full paycheck cycle when wage earners realized they had 2 percent less in their take-home pay.

According to the CUNA Mutual Group's Credit Union Trends Report for March 2013, the nation’s credit unions are helping consumers/members lead the recovery. Record mortgage refinances improved member household cash flow and falling vehicle loan rates helped make vehicle replacement more affordable.

Highlights of this month's report include:

  • Annual industry consolidation held at 305 in January with the loss of 13 credit unions during the month. The current industry count is 7,033. Year-end data detail shows 67.5 percent of all CUs below $50 million in assets.
  • Annual asset growth is strong at 6.8 percent despite attempts by credit unions to stem deposit inflows with lower rates. Credit unions will need to closely monitor deposit yields so as not to have unintended deposit surges. At the end of January, industry assets totaled $1.047 trillion.
  • While first mortgage originations were up 50 percent in 2012 and total loans granted climbed 26 percent, payoffs, amortization and interest rate risk management, held annual loan growth to 4.6 percent. While not robust, growth trends have steadily improved since mid-2011.
  • Membership gains slowed in January, but the annual increase held at 2.5 million. Total membership currently stands at 96.6 million. Despite record gains, roughly 50 percent of all credit unions reported membership declines in 2012.
  • At 10.5 percent, the capital-to-asset (C/A) ratio is at its highest level since January 2009. Only 3.7 percent of credit unions (1.3 percent of industry assets) have a C/A ratio below 7 percent. Despite lending improvements, the loan-to-share ratio continues to fall and now stands at 68.2 percent. The loan delinquency rate improved to 1.131 percent, which is down 46 basis points (bp) year-over-year and fractionally below its 10-year average.

Click here to access the report.