NCUA Q1 Data Shows Northwest Consumers, Businesses Continuing to Flock to Safety of Credit Unions

As consumers financed their 2.7-percent growth in national spending by cutting their savings rate from 4.2 to 3.6 percent of disposable income, Northwest credit union members’ savings grew by an average of 4.85 percent (4.8 percent in Washington and 4.9 percent in Oregon) quarter-over-quarter from Dec. 31, 2011, to March 31, 2012, to more than $43.375 billion ($29.74 billion in Washington and $13.635 billion in Oregon), according to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

Credit union membership continued to increase for Washington and Oregon credit unions during 2012’s first quarter as well, though less dramatically than the historic numbers posted during 2011’s Bank Transfer Season. In Washington, the change was 1.2 percent quarter-over-quarter, or 34,437 new members. During the same three months, Oregon credit union membership grew by 11,172 members, or .8 percent.

Total credit union membership in the Northwest now stands at 4,256,778—2,869,764 in Washington, 1,387,014 in Oregon. Data also suggests that more than 600,000 additional Northwest consumers hold accounts in credit union headquartered outside of the two states.

“It’s obvious from the overall growth that credit unions continue to be the consumer choice for honest safekeeping of their financial future,” said Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) CEO John Annaloro. “And when Congress realizes that credit unions are increasingly becoming the entrepreneur’s choice for small-business financing, we’re certain that market will grow as well.”

According to the latest NCUA Financial Progress Report, credit union member business loans (MBLs) in the Northwest now stand at nearly $2.41 billion—$1,496,264,131 in Washington and $910,666,509 in Oregon—for a quarter-over-quarter increase of more than $44.62 million.

Credit unions and small-business owners around the nation have been engaged with Congress over the past several months, lobbying politicians to increase the amount of financing available to America’s small businesses. According to wide reports, raising the maximum amount of total funding that a credit has available to lend to its member business owners from 12.25 percent of assets to 27.5 percent would immediately make $690 million additional dollars available to the nation’s economy, an amount that would create more than 7,500 new jobs at a time when it is desperately needed.

“Small-business-owning members have been receiving safe, affordable and dependable financing from their credit unions for decades, in good times and bad,” said NWCUA President Troy Stang. “This proven fortitude is clear evidence that the cooperative model works in any economy.”


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Posted in CUNA, NCUA.