Credit Union Membership Continues to Expand

Total credit union members in the U.S. rose by 2.7% to an all time high of 80 million. The average share balance is now over $5,284 and the average loan balance $7,675.

 
 

Total credit union members in the U.S. rose by 2.7% to an all time high of 80 million. The average share balance is now over $5,284 and the average loan balance $7,675.

While credit unions are estimated to reach approximately 40% of US households a review of Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances, suggests that credit union members are still a very small share of the population. Using the 1998 household data, the Filene Institute in a report Who Uses Credit Unions, estimates that only 6% of households are “credit union only” users and 12.4% are predominately credit union users. The pie chart below shows the analysis of this tri-annual survey data.

The growth of assets of 11.8% was the highest in over 10 years and was fueled by the double-digit savings growth. Most of this increase was from internal share growth which increased 9.1% and only 2.7% from new members. This pattern suggests that although credit unions have expanded their potential members by over 16%, most of the growth in 2001 reflects existing members bringing more funds to the credit union.


One dilemma is that the growth is not evenly distributed throughout the credit union system. Larger credit unions grew faster in loans, savings and had higher ROA than did smaller credit unions. In fact the very smallest credit unions are experiencing “dis-investment” as members slowly reduce their balances and participation. The high growth numbers are primarily from 800, mostly larger, institutions.

For the complete article complete with national leader tables, peer analysis and updated contact information on all U.S. credit unions, get the 2002 Credit Union Directory and, for a limited time as a special bonus, you can get the 3rd Quarter Data and Research Report for only $50.


 

 

 

 

Jan. 28, 2002


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