By the Numbers: Delinquencies Down as Northwest Credit Unions Continue to Grow

Analysis of bank and credit union activity in Oregon and Washington shows that Northwest credit unions outpaced the region’s for-profit banks last year in total year-over-year asset, loan, deposit and capital growth while also showing favorable trends in terms of delinquency rates and diversification of risk.

Northwest credit union assets grew by 7.2 percent, up from a collective $46.6 billion in 2011 to nearly $50 billion in 2012. Bank assets in the two states grew by just over one-tenth of a percent during the same period, remaining just under $98.5 billion.

Loans, deposits and capital numbers followed a similar trajectory. Credit union deposits grew by just over 7 percent in 2012 compared to 3.4 percent growth for banks, while credit unions’ equity capital jumped from less than $4.4 billion in 2011 to more than $4.8 billion in 2012, good for 11.4 percent growth compared to an increase of 3.1 percent for banks.

Total loans and leases for credit unions checked in at $31.9 billion in 2012, up 4.4 percent from the previous year. That figure was nearly double the banks’ reported 2.5 percent growth during the same year.

A deeper dive into lending figures shows that credit unions not only grew their loan portfolios last year, but they did so in a way that also left them with significantly improved delinquency rates. Credit unions closed 2012 with nearly 40 percent fewer delinquent loans and leases on the books than the previous year.

Despite the growth, however, credit unions, on average, earned less on loans than banks while paying a slightly higher average deposit cost. According to Dan Hein, vice president of finance for the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA), those figures reflect the credit union industry’s commitment to giving members more favorable rates.

“Credit unions typically provide more well-rounded service to consumers than banks,” Hein said. “Credit unions earned less on their members’ loans and paid more on their deposits last year. Those numbers are a concrete example of credit unions putting people above profit to offer consumers the best rates possible.”


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Posted in Around the NW, Community Impact, Economy.