MADISON, Wis. – 2012 likely will go down as the year when credit unions regained their financial footing and turned more of their attention to member financial well-being, according to CUNA Mutual Group.

Dave Colby, CUNA Mutual Group’s chief economist, said the U.S. economic outlook remains “clouded” as the country now is less than 30 days away from a reportedly tight election. In the October Credit Union Trends Report, which contains industry information through August, Colby said economic growth in the rest of the world is slowing and nothing has changed for the better in the Eurozone.

“The open-ended monetary policy actions by the Fed indicate their level of concern regarding the sustainability of our fragile recovery,” Colby said. “Defensive deposit increases by members are also raising concerns.

Moving forward, Colby said the hope is economic concerns will slowly give way to regulatory burdens as the primary industry concern. Regulatory concerns will raise time and resource demands on the CU movement’s leadership, said Colby, who predicted regulations will likely accelerate industry consolidation in 2013 and beyond. “This is especially true for smaller CUs,” he wrote.


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