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Revised credit union stats

By David McMillin · Bankrate.com
Friday, December 9, 2011
Posted: 10 am ET

It turns out that big banks aren't losing quite as many account holders as expected.

In its quarterly update, the National Credit Union Administration announced the nation's nonprofit financial institutions added around 450,000 new members throughout the third quarter of 2011.

Those numbers are impressive, but they are vastly different than numbers originally reported by another group, the Credit Union National Association, during the bank-transfer media blitz. When I first wrote about Bank Transfer Day, I covered a CUNA survey that included some estimates that look awfully bold now: 650,000 new members in October alone.

When new fees were popping up a couple of months ago, it felt like everyone would leave their banks. These new numbers certainly indicate credit unions are growing in popularity, but it doesn't feel like the movement is taking the toll on the banking industry that many predicted.

However, even with these adjusted figures, credit unions are having a very big year. Membership has increased by nearly 1 million throughout the first three quarters of 2011, and the nation's 7,179 credit unions have more than 91 million members.

While credit unions do not operate to turn profits, they are earning income to support their businesses and members. In the first nine months of the year, credit unions have already outpaced their entire annual earnings from 2010. According to the NCUA report, earnings currently sit at $4.61 billion.

Here are a few other highlights for the quarter from the official NCUA report:

  • Lending increased by $3.1 billion.
  • Total asset values increased by almost $8.7 billion.
  • Deposits increased by nearly $7 billion.

What do you think? Do the revised membership numbers make you feel any different about the success of Bank Transfer Day? Now that the uproar over bank fees seems to be slowly calming, do you expect 2012 to be another record year for credit unions?

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