Credit union lending swelled 11.2% in 1996, to $213.6 billion, bringing the industry's loan-to-deposit ratio to 74.6%, the National Credit Union Administration said.

Used auto loans, first mortgages, and credit cards grew the most, up 21.1%, 16%, and 15.5%, respectively. The bulk of credit union loans-33%-are real estate related. New auto loans placed second, with 23% of total loans.

The nation's 11,393 credit unions held assets of $326.6 billion on Dec. 31, up 6.5% on the year.

The NCUA said equity held by credit unions increased 11.2%, to $35.2 billion, last year. Credit unions averaged a 1.1% return on assets in 1996, which repeats 1995's performance.

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