Membership surged at credit unions in the fourth quarter of 2011 and credit unions employees are now busy managing more accounts, including more deposits and loans.
During 2011, membership at credit unions grew at an annual rate of 1.4% to 93.0 million members, while the number of full-time employees increased 35 basis points to nearly 240,000. Because membership is growing at a more robust pace, each employee is now handling more members. The average for the industry currently stands at 388 members per employee, up from 384 members in 2010. Credit unions with under $20 million in assets had the highest median, with 416 members per employee. Smaller credit unions posted above average figures, indicating that with limited resources, they have fewer employees to even out the workload.
FirstLook data from 4,653 credit unions that have reported their first quarter 2012 financials shows that productivity likely continued to increase. Employees of FirstLook credit unions on average served of 393 members and managed 931 share and loan accounts each, according to Callahan & Associates’ data. Full 1Q 2012 data will be available by early June.
The largest credit unions, those with more than $1 billion in assets, also had slightly above average numbers in the fourth quarter of 2011. The volume of members at these credit unions has been pushing their numbers higher. Mid-sized credit unions – the ones with assets ranging from $100 million to $250 million – had the fewest members per full-time employee. Each employee at these credit unions was, on average, serving 349 members.
The following graph highlights the range of this ration from credit unions in the 25th percentile of members per full-time employee to the 75th percentile. The figure represents the median. Only credit unions with at least one full-time employee were included in these groups to avoid significant skewing of results.
Not only are more members joining credit unions, they are bringing their associated deposit and loan accounts with them. In 2010, each employee managed 906 share and loan accounts. That increased to 913 accounts in 2011. The employees at credit unions with more than $1 billion in assets managed the most accounts, while the employees at credit unions with under $20 million managed the least, with 996 accounts and 728 accounts respectively.
One point of interest is the $100 million to $250 million peer group. They have the lowest median outside of the very small and very large credit unions. One explanation for this is that these credit unions are poised to grow. They are well staffed as evidenced by their low members and accounts per employee, and they are ready to expand.
How does your credit union compare with the average of your peers? If your credit union falls outside of this range, perhaps you are not using your employees’ full potential. Or perhaps your employees are managing an overwhelming number of members or accounts and cannot dedicate the time they need to each. Of course, your credit union could be outside the range and managing accounts effective – this data should only serve as a tool to compare yourself with your peers.