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Wisconsin's Credit Unions Report Strong Growth During Q1

PEWAUKEE, Wis.-Wisconsin's credit unions reported strong growth during Q1. During the first quarter, the state's 220 credit unions reported assets increased to $21.3 billion from $20.7 billion at year end, and net income rose to $27.8 million from $22.9 million at the same time in 2010, according to the Wisconsin CU League. Wisconsin CUs' net worth was also strong at 9.83%, helped by solid lending, as members have borrowed 84 cents of every dollar on deposit.

The state's unions added 725,531 new members and $39 billion in new deposits during the 12 months ending March 2011.

"Credit unions continue to help members with budgeting, consolidating debt at lower rates, and providing small loans to help make ends meet. They're also making the kinds of loans businesses need but the big banks don't make because they're not profitable enough," said league CEO Brett Thompson. "So the continued health of credit unions is a sign that Wisconsin consumers and companies are receiving the resources they need to manage their finances."

The league noted the numbers are being reported at the same time the Wisconsin Bankers Association has attempted to slip into the state budget-without input from credit unions or their members-a provision that would ease conversions of member-owned credit unions to commercial banks.


World Council's Crear Keynotes CU Assn. of Dakotas' Summit

FARGO, N.D.-Pete Crear, president of the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), was the special guest speaker at the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas' Summit here. During his remarks, Crear talked about credit union movements around the world, noting that in some developing countries, credit unions can be a "life line for survival" stated Crear. Crear also updated his audience on CU efforts in Afghanistan, Tanzania, Kenya, Mexico and Haiti.

"There is a place in this world for institutions with a higher purpose than profit" said Crear. "It's about people-the money will take care of itself. If we stay that course, everything will be just fine".

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