Credit union loan growth in California outpaced savings growth in 2013—the first time that’s happened since 2007, according to a report released today by the California Credit Union League.
Overall, credit union loan portfolios grew by 2.8 percent in the fourth quarter, resulting in a 6.3 percent increase for the year. In contrast, savings balances increased by 0.32 percent in the fourth quarter, and by 3.7 percent in the year.
The 6.3 percent full-year loan portfolio increase was the largest percentage increase California credit unions have experienced since 2006.
Auto lending continued to drive overall loan growth results in 2013, reflected in a 22-percent full-year jump in new vehicle loans and a 13.9-percent increase in used auto loans.
“The jump in auto lending showed that the pent-up demand among consumers pulled them into dealer showrooms as well as credit union branches,” said League Chief Economist Dwight Johnston. "The improved economic outlook also was demonstrated in the strong 2013 lending results in nearly every key loan category—from personal unsecured loans and first mortgages to business loans and credit card usage. Improvement in the California job market and rising home values resulted in greater confidence on the part of borrowers.”
Personal unsecured loans grew by 11.8 percent in the year; first mortgages increased 6.9 percent while business loans grew by 5.4 percent and credit cards by 5.1 percent.
California consumers are increasingly recognizing the benefits of credit union membership. Total memberships in the state’s credit unions grew by 1.23 percent in 2013 – the strongest increase since 2007. In contrast, the Census Bureau reports the state population grew by 0.88 percent in 2013.
The League’s report is compiled from credit unions representing 53 percent of all federally-insured credit unions that collectively serve 96 percent of the members and manage 98 percent of the assets reported by such institutions located throughout the state.
About the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues: With headquarters in Ontario, CA, the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues are the trade associations representing the interests of more than 400 credit unions in California and Nevada, and their 10 million members. For more information, go to www.ccul.org.