March 04, 2014

CU data: Growth in nearly all loan categories

March 4, 2014 – The 8 percent growth in credit union lending last year involved growth in nearly every category of lending, NCUA said Monday in releasing year-end call report data.

According to the data, loan growth outpaced share growth for the first time since 2007. The loan delinquency ratio was 1.01 percent as of Dec. 31, 2013, down from 1.16 percent the year before. Charge-offs were down 14 percent.

Despite the positives, NCUA did point to growth in longer-term investments and rate-sensitive money market shares. It said net interest margins continued to decline.

NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz cautioned particularly about growth in long-term investments. "The current rate environment is a challenge for profitability, but federally insured credit unions should avoid falling into the trap of over-concentration in long-term investments," Matz said. She said it might be prudent to accept a lower return on assets to avoid excess interest-rate risk.

Key areas of loan growth, according to year-over-year data, were as follows:

  • New-auto loans grew 12.8 percent during the year to $71.4 billion.
  • Used-auto loans grew 10.5 percent to more than $127 billion.
  • First mortgage loans grew 8.8 percent to a total of $267.8 billion. Of this, $165.45 billion was in fixed-rate mortgages.
  • Net member business loan balances grew 10.1 percent to more than $45.9 billion.
  • Non-federally guaranteed student loans grew nearly 30 percent to $2.6 billion.
  • Payday alternative loans (short-term, small-amount loans) grew 27.6 percent to $27 million.