Total Credit Union Assets Still Surging; Pass $600 Billion

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It took the credit union movement most of its history to hit $500 billion in total assets, a mark finally reached in 2001. Less than two years later, credit unions have grown another 20% and surpassed $600 billion in total assets.

According to CUNA's economics and statistics department, credit union assets reached $600 billion at the end of the first quarter of this year. Not surprisingly, the asset growth is being driven in large part by the inflow of deposits, although that inflow has slowed somewhat. Loan volume, meanwhile, remains anemic, according to CUNA.

During March, savings balances in credit unions were up 1.2%. "The 5.5% year-to-date growth is close to the 5.8% growth for the first quarter of 2002 and nearly identical to the growth of the first three months a year ago," CUNA said.

CUNA VP-Economics & Statistics Mike Schenk said the pace of savings growth remains strong due in part to the war in Iraq. CUNA is projecting that the trend will start to "reverse itself and there will be a slowdown in savings growth-beyond the typical summer slowdown-because the war is over."

Loan growth remains anemic, growing at less than one-fourth of 1% the last three months," CUNA's analysis showed.

"Loans outstanding increased 0.2% during March while year-to-date loans grew 0.1%," CUNA reported.

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