(please click ad for more information)

Current News

Relevant Information—For You, By You

updated 07/24/13 08:44 AM
League Economist Offers Insight
With the exception of making car loans and refinancing mortgages, there hasn't been much loan demand at California and Nevada credit unions over the past few years. But there's reason to be hopeful both states can close the gap.

According to Dwight Johnston, vice president and chief economist at the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, credit unions in California and Nevada "had a lot to celebrate in 2012, especially in the areas of non-interest income, declines in delinquencies, and Return on Assets (ROA). We can hope 2013 turns out the same, if not better."

The 2012 results were heavily biased by larger credit unions which profited from reversing loan loss reserves and refinancing mortgages. "But generally speaking, it was a good year for the industry," Johnston said, noting his recent conversations with several credit union executives. "The biggest concern going forward, excluding regulatory burdens, remains sluggish loan demand."

Last year, total loan portfolios in California rose by 1.4 percent, and Nevada credit unions reported a decline of 7.6 percent. Nationally, credit union loans grew by almost 5 percent.

An Achievable Goal
Consumers lost their appetites to borrow after being ravaged by the recession, with California and Nevada residents living in the two hardest-hit states, Johnston noted. "The economic recovery, which technically began in June 2009, didn't reach our states until 2011."

The spread between the loan-to-share ratios of all U.S. credit unions versus California and Nevada is at an all-time—and unfavorable—high. "Nationally, credit unions are experiencing better loan demand," Johnston said.

He noted the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’ Consumer Distress Index from early summer. It depicts the distress indices of California, Nevada, and the United States, measuring five categories of personal finance: employment, housing, credit, household budget, and new worth. Less than 70 is representative of distress; 70-79 as neutral but at risk; and more than 80 is good. If the score is under 60, it’s an all-out emergency and crisis.

"California and Nevada were at or above national numbers in the go-go days, then fell below national numbers during the recession, and are now slower to recover," Johnston said.

However, the index in California rose to nearly 70 in fourth quarter 2012, finally catching up with the United States. The Nevada index is lower, but it turned higher and moved out of the crisis zone in 2012.

No Coincidence
It's no coincidence, Johnston said. "When consumers feel better about the five categories in the Consumer Distress Index, they are more willing to borrow and spend. The delayed recoveries in California and Nevada caused the two states to fall behind in many categories, but both are catching up to the national picture."

This should bode well for future loan growth, but it will take a lot of work and innovation on the part of credit unions. "Now that the opportunity has been identified, it’s up to credit unions to help make it happen," he said.

print   email   share   share   share

ENTER THE 'WE OWN OUR BANK' CONTEST updated 08/31/14 03:36 PM
Submit your favorite summer photo
Don’t miss out on the chance to participate in the "We Own Our Bank" summer photo contest and win an iPad Mini!

ASI: NO SPECIAL ASSESSMENT FOR 2014 updated 08/29/14 08:40 AM
Performance Offsets Charge
Dennis Adams, CEO of American Mutual Share Insurance Corp. (ASI), announced to member credit unions that there would be no Special Premium Assessment (SPA) in 2014 by the nation’s private share insurer.

SAN MATEO CU CEO TO RETIRE updated 08/29/14 04:49 PM
Barry Jolette Served 27 Years
San Mateo CU CEO Barry Jolette will retire after 27 years of service. He has demonstrated a close dedication to the credit union movement through his various leadership roles on local, national, and international levels.

NCUF RELEASES ANNUAL REPORT updated 08/29/14 02:44 PM
Activities From Last 12 Months
The National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) released its 2013-2014 Annual Report, entitled “Improving People’s Financial Lives through Credit Unions.” The report highlights the organization's program and grant activities during the past 12 months.