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Southeastern Credit Unions growing, lending and meeting members needs in 1Q

First quarter Call Report data for credit unions in Alabama and Florida show that assets, membership and lending are all growing. Florida credit unions added $1.1 billion in assets or 2.6 percent, on par with the national credit union average, while Alabama credit unions added $763 million or 5 percent, which is nearly twice the national credit union average. For Alabama, it continues an upward trend of five years of growth that has added $3.9 billion in assets to its 127 credit unions. More consumers are seeing the credit union difference as membership grew in Florida by 15,000 members in the first quarter and Alabama added 6,000.

The economy has been a hindrance to credit unions and members for quite some time. However, there seems to be signs of improvement. Southeastern credit unions are seeing a decline in provisions of loan losses, delinquent loans and net charge offs. Alabama credit unions delinquent loans and net charge offs are well below the national credit union average, while Florida credit unions are above the national credit union average, but saw a 20 basis points fall in delinquent loans in the first quarter, as well as a 39 basis points improvement in net charge offs. Southeastern credit unions are also working with small businesses. In the first quarter, Alabama and Florida credit unions collectively made $54.8 million dollars in Member Business Loans. This is a 5-percent increase year over year from 2010. It’s certainly good news considering how difficult the economy has been in both states.

“We know the weak economy is continuing to hamper our credit union members,” said LSCU President/CEO Patrick La Pine. “However, we are encouraged by the number of quality loans our credit unions are making. Plus, credit unions are meeting the needs of their members looking for member business loans, as well as new and used auto loans. With our growth in assets and members, plus the amount of loans being made, it feels that the worst is behind us.”

 

When it comes to loans, Southeastern credit unions are making them and members are searching for them, especially auto loans. The new and used auto loans for Alabama and Florida credit unions are well above the national credit union average. Total auto loans to loans in Alabama and Florida are above the national average with Alabama loans 10 percent above and Florida loans 2.5 percent above. Taking a look inside those numbers, Alabama credit unions used auto loans are a robust 27 percent, while the national average is 18 percent. Florida credit unions are close to the national average in used auto loans, but above the national average in new auto loans at 14 percent while the national average is just under 11 percent. This shows that more members are making purchases and understand their credit union has money to lend.

 

Credit union members’ savings are growing at a strong pace. Southeastern credit union members saved a total of $1.8 billion in the first quarter. A further look inside the numbers show that Alabama members’ savings stayed steady at 5.5 percent, nearly twice the national average, while Florida members saved at a 2.8-percent clip. This is slightly below the national average, but an almost 4-percent improvement from the 2009 results.

Considering the way the economy has been affecting credit unions and members, the first quarter data is encouraging for 2011 to be a good year for credit unions.

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