As California CUs Surpass $200B in Assets, Mission Remains Strong

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Credit unions headquartered in California surpassed the $200 billion asset mark for the first time during first quarter 2019 (hitting $206 billion)—a direct upshot of consumers choosing the movement’s unique member-owner structure over other options within the financial services marketplace.

The state’s major milestone comes as membership, loan and deposit growth continue to slow down from a huge surge experienced between 2016 – 2018. Credit unions’ holistic approach to financial health and wellness, better rates, lower fees and volunteer work in their communities continues to resonate with individuals and families.

It was in early 2007 that locally based credit unions across the Golden State passed the $100 billion threshold (reaching $106 billion). On average, the industry’s assets in California have expanded $8.33 billion per year since then. The number of credit unions keeps shrinking while the industry’s average asset size continues growing larger to meet the needs of more members and their loan and deposit choices.

Nevada credit unions also reached a breakthrough (back in first quarter 2018)—the $5 billion mark. As of this year’s most recent quarter, the Silver State now stands at $5.2 billion.

“Credit unions’ commitment to representing and fighting for their members remains strong,” said Diana Dykstra, president and CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues. “Together, the Leagues and its member credit unions stand united as they advocate on crucial state and federal issues in Sacramento, Carson City and Washington, D.C. that affect the financial lives of the individuals they serve. We look forward to continuing our mission of changing credit union members’ lives.”

It was announced this past week that the U.S. economy entered its longest-ever recovery period on record (121 consecutive months) after a recession. Throughout the aftermath of the Great Recession of 2007 – 2009 and the slow-and-steady economic expansion that has followed, credit unions continued finding ways to better serve their existing members and prove to other consumers there is a unique member-owned option within the financial services arena.

Comparing the year-over-year periods ending March 31, 2019 versus March 31, 2018 can give credit union leaders context as they plan for 2020:

California’s 1Q: 2019 Versus 2018

  • Locally headquartered California credit unions: 303 in operation (2019); 311 in operation (2018).
  • Members: added 573,000 (5 percent increase) and reached 12.3 million (2019); added 667,000 (6 percent increase) and reached 11.7 million (2018).
  • Total deposits: rose 5 percent and hit $175 billion (2019); rose 7 percent and hit $166 billion (2018).
  • Total loans: rose 9 percent and hit $140 billion (2019); rose 12 percent and hit $129 billion (2018).
  • First mortgages: increased 8 percent and reached $69 billion (2019); increased 10 percent and reached $64 billion (2018).
  • Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)/second mortgages: rose 10 percent and hit $12 billion (2019); rose 10 percent and hit $10.9 billion (2018).
  • New auto loans: increased 12 percent and reached $21.5 billion (2019); increased 21 percent and reached $19.3 billion (2018).
  • Used auto loans: rose 9 percent and hit $23.4 billion (2019); rose 15 percent and hit $21.6 billion (2018).
  • Credit cards: increased 6 percent and reached $6.2 billion (2019); increased 8 percent and reached $5.8 billion (2018).
  • Business loans (includes landlord real estate loans): rose 10 percent and hit $10.7 billion (2019); dropped 11 percent to $9.7 billion (2018).

Nevada’s 1Q: 2019 Versus 2018

  • Locally headquartered Nevada credit unions: 15 in operation (2019); 16 in operation (2018).
  • Members: added 9,100 (3 percent increase) and reached 361,000 (2019); added 12,800 (4 percent increase) and reached 353,000 (2018).
  • Total deposits: rose 4 percent and hit $4.6 billion (2019); rose 8 percent and hit $4.4 billion (2018).
  • Total loans: rose 11 percent and hit $3.1 billion (2019); rose 13 percent and hit $2.8 billion (2018).
  • First mortgages: increased 9 percent and reached $1.3 billion (2019); increased 9 percent and reached $1.2 billion (2018).
  • Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)/second mortgages: rose 6 percent and hit $157 million (2019); rose 5 percent and hit $148 million (2018).
  • New auto loans: increased 29 percent and reached $419 million (2019); increased 34 percent and reached $325 million (2018).
  • Used auto loans: rose 7 percent and hit $870 million (2019); rose 15 percent and hit $815 million (2018).
  • Credit cards: decreased 3 percent to $83 million (2019); increased 2 percent and reached $85 million (2018).
  • Business loans (includes landlord real estate loans): rose 7 percent and hit $376 million (2019); rose 29 percent and hit $352 million (2018).

Data was extracted from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

Localized 1Q 2019 Snapshot Reports
Click each region in California to view localized year-over-year credit union trends (1Q 2019):

Click each region in Nevada to view localized year-over-year credit union trends (1Q 2019):

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