Based on first quarter 2012 data, credit unions have maintained their steady historical growth, with the combined assets of all credit unions reaching $1 trillion for the first time.
“The credit union industry reached important milestones in late March. Credit unions’ total assets topped $1 trillion, and the industry’s net worth exceeded $100 billion for the first time,” said NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz. “Credit unions now have the potential to lend to 667,000 more members added in the first quarter, on top of the 1.4 million members added in 2011. In addition to membership reaching 92.5 million, delinquencies and charge-offs fell, and the industry netted almost $2.1 billion in income.”
Still, as Mike Schenk from the Credit Union National Association points out in the powerpoint Commercial Banks and Credit Unions:
“As of third quarter 2011 banking institutions held over fourteen times more assets than credit unions ($13.8 trillion vs. $963 billion). Each of the nation’s four largest banking entities are larger than the entire credit union movement.”
Other stats from the report include:
- The average banking institution is over fourteen times larger than the average credit union ($1.9 billion vs. $132 million in assets).
- At third quarter 2011, half of all U.S. credit unions had less than $19 million in assets. Overall, less than 2% of banking institutions are this small.
- Two-thirds of banking institutions had $100 million or more in total assets at third quarter 2011. Only 20% of credit unions are this large.
In addition, credit unions share of financial institutions assets has remained essentially the same for the past twenty years. Credit union share was 6% in 1992 and it remained at 6% as of the third quarter of 2011.
Even though credit unions do on average offer higher rates on deposits, and lower rates on lending products, consumers still seem to prefer the convenience and services of chartered banks.