Credit Union Deposits Surpass $1 Trillion

March 2016
Credit Union Deposits Surpass $1 Trillion

NCUA Quarterly Data Indicate Less Exposure to Long-Term Investments

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (March 3, 2016) – Total shares and deposits at federally insured credit unions grew past $1 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2015, the National Credit Union Administration reported today.

Overall, share and deposit accounts at federally insured credit unions increased $65.2 billion, or 6.9 percent, from the end of the fourth quarter of 2014.

“Year-end data show the credit union system remains sound and focused on providing affordable financial services,” NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz said. “Rising deposits indicate consumer confidence in the system, and credit unions are turning those deposits into loans that allow members to buy homes, cars and other goods. New loans also grew by 15.8 percent in 2015. As lending increased, credit unions’ exposure to long-term investments declined. Nevertheless, NCUA will continue to closely examine credit unions for interest rate risk.”

NCUA released the new figures today based on Call Report data submitted to and compiled by the agency for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2015. With the release of the latest statistics, the agency also debuted an expanded quarterly summary to provide easy access to more detailed information about the performance of federally insured credit unions.

Asset Growth Continues Alongside Deposit Growth

Total assets in federally insured credit unions rose to $1.2 trillion at the end of the fourth quarter of 2015, an increase of $82.2 billion, or 7.3 percent, from the end of 2014. As overall deposits rose, growth in share drafts was especially strong, increasing by 14.5 percent for the year.

Auto, Mortgage and Member-Business Lending Continue Growth 

Total loans at federally insured credit unions reached $787 billion in the fourth quarter of 2015, an increase of 2.3 percent from the previous quarter and 10.5 percent from a year earlier.

For the year ending in the fourth quarter of 2015, loans grew in every major category, including:

  • New auto loans grew to $100.1 billion, up 3.4 percent for the quarter and up 16.0 percent for the year.
  • Used auto loans rose to $161.9 billion, up 2.1 percent for the quarter and up 12.7 for the year.
  • Total first-mortgage loans outstanding reached $322.3 billion, up 2.1 percent for the quarter and up 10.3 percent for the year. Fixed-rate first mortgages made up 59 percent of first-mortgage loans at year’s end.
  • Other mortgage loans stood at $74.4 billion, up 1.4 percent for the quarter and up 3.6 percent for the year.
  • Net member-business loan balances grew to $58.1 billion, up 3.6 percent for the quarter and up 12.2 percent for the year.
  • Non-federally guaranteed student loans stood at $3.5 billion, up 2.1 percent for the quarter and up 11.3 percent for the year.

Federal credit unions also originated $123.3 million in payday alternative loans over the four quarters ending in the fourth quarter of 2015, up 7.2 percent from the fourth quarter of 2014.

The loans-to-shares ratio at the end of the fourth quarter was 77.5 percent, unchanged from the previous quarter and up 2.5 percentage points from the end of the fourth quarter of 2014.

Credit Union System Further Reduces Long-Term Investments

Total investments by federally insured credit unions stood at $272.8 billion at the end of the fourth quarter of 2015, a decrease of $3 billion, or 1.1 percent, from the end of 2014. Compared to a year earlier, investments with maturities greater than 10 years declined 20.6 percent to $4.5 billion. Investments with maturities of one to three years increased to $101.7 billion, up 2.2 percent from a year earlier.

The credit union system’s net long-term assets ratio was 32.7 percent in the fourth quarter, compared to 33.6 percent a year ago. Credit unions with less than $10 million in assets had the lowest net long-term asset ratio of any peer group at 10.5 percent. In comparison, credit unions with more than $500 million in assets had a ratio of 34 percent.

Percentage of Well-Capitalized Credit Unions Rises

The percentage of federally insured credit unions that were well-capitalized rose over the past four quarters with 97.9 percent reporting a net worth ratio at or above the statutorily required 7 percent. A year earlier, 97.6 percent of credit unions were well-capitalized. As of Dec. 31, 2015, 0.6 percent of federally insured credit unions were undercapitalized.

Credit Unions Add 3.5 Million Members, but Consolidation Continues

Membership in federally insured credit unions grew to 102.7 million at the end of 2015, an increase of 3.5 million from the end of the fourth quarter of 2014.

The number of federally insured credit unions fell to 6,021 at the end of the fourth quarter, 252 fewer than at the end of 2014, a decline of 4 percent. Consolidation within the credit union system has remained steady for more than two decades across a variety of economic cycles.

Credit Unions’ Net Income Up Slightly as Net Worth Ratio Stays Steady

Federally insured credit unions reported net income of $8.7 billion in 2015, an increase of 0.3 percent from 2014. The credit union system’s aggregate net worth ratio was 10.92 percent at the end of the fourth quarter, down 4 basis points from a year earlier.

Delinquency Rate Rises for Quarter, but Declines for Year

The delinquency rate at federally insured credit unions rose slightly in the fourth quarter to 81 basis points from 78 basis points the previous quarter, but remained below the 85 basis-point level in the fourth quarter of 2014. The year-to-date net charge-off ratio was 48 basis points for 2015, down from 50 basis points in 2014.

The percentage of year-to-date loan charge-offs due to bankruptcy in the fourth quarter was 17.2, which was 2.3 percentage points below the end of the fourth quarter of 2014.

Return on Average Assets at 75 Basis Points

Federally insured credit unions’ year-to-date return on average assets ratio stood at 75 basis points at the end of 2015, 5 basis points below the level in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Overall, 79 percent of federally insured credit unions reported positive returns on average assets for 2015, compared to 78 percent in 2014.

Fastest Growth Still Occurring in Larger Credit Unions

Federally insured credit unions with more than $500 million in assets continued to lead growth in the system in most performance measures in the fourth quarter of 2015. With $867.5 billion in combined assets, these 481 credit unions held 72 percent of total system assets. Large credit unions again reported the fastest growth in loans, membership and net worth as well as the highest return on average assets.

Continuing credit unions with assets of less than $10 million recorded positive loan and net worth growth. These credit unions also reported a higher net worth ratio than other peer groups, but membership in the smallest credit union asset grouping continued to decline.

For selected metrics, the table below provides a summary by asset size of federally insured credit unions’ current ratios and annual growth rates at the end of 2015:

For more information about the performance of federally insured credit unions, NCUA makes the complete details of the December 2015 Call Report available online here. An expanded summary of fourth-quarter performance is available here, and financial trends data for federally insured credit unions are available here.

Board Member
Last modified on
11/30/18