JUPITER, Florida (April 2, 2012) — The nation’s credit unions increased deposits by $41 billion, or 5.2%, in 2011, according to a new analysis by Weiss Ratings, a leading independent rating agency of U.S. financial institutions. The Weiss review of fourth quarter 2011 data for 7,186 U.S. credit unions also found that deposits increased 29.6% since the end of 2007, before the banking crisis began, jumping from $646.8 billion to $838.5 billion in 2011.
“Credit unions have enjoyed renewed interest from consumers who are shunning banks and the plethora of new fees that have been imposed on many traditional banking services,” commented Gene Kirsch, senior financial analyst at Weiss Ratings.
With increased deposit funding, loan volume also grew steadily since the end of 2007, increasing 7.5% from $538.6 billion to $579 billion in 2011 alone.
Likewise, profits increased $1.9 billion in 2011, or 40.6%, to $6.44 billion from $4.58 billion in 2010. The industry reported a return on average assets (ROAA) of 0.67% in 2011, up from 0.64% ROAA in 2007, overcoming the industry’s ROAA low of -0.02% during the onset of the 2008 financial crisis.
The largest credit unions leading the trend include:
Weiss’ evaluation of each institution’s capitalization, asset quality, profitability and liquidity underscores the industry’s overall improvement. The number of credit unions earning a Weiss Financial Strength Rating of B+ or better (“Good”) increased from 723 in 2010 to 739 in 2011, while weak credit unions, those rated D+ or lower, dropped from 2,584 in 2010 to 2,036 in 2011. Notably, institutions deemed most vulnerable with a Weiss rating of E+ or lower, declined from 527 in 2010 to 422 in 2011.
“Despite the industry’s improved performance, there are still hundreds of weak institutions across the nation. And consumers should continue to be cautious when selecting a credit union,” added Kirsch.
Weiss Ratings advises credit union members to carefully monitor the health of their financial institutions. For a list of Weiss Ratings’ strongest and weakest credit unions, visit www.weissratings.com/creditunionlists.
About Weiss Ratings
Weiss Ratings, the nation’s leading independent provider of bank, credit union and insurance company financial strength ratings and sovereign debt ratings, accepts no payments for its ratings from rated institutions. It also distributes independent investment ratings on the shares of thousands of publicly traded companies, mutual funds, closed-end funds and ETFs.