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Growth rates slacken at California, Nevada credit unions

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Credit unions in California and Nevada continue to grow but many product areas are slowing, according to recent data released by the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues.

Despite that, CUs in both states topped asset milestones during the first quarter.

In the Golden State, CUs headquartered in California now hold $206 billion in assets, topping the $200 billion-asset milestone for the first time in history. The Silver State is down to just 15 locally headquartered CUs, but they held a record $5.2 billion in assets as of the end of Q1.

Earlier this week, Callahan and Associates said Pennsylvania credit unions topped the $50 billion-asset mark.

CUs in California topped $100 billion in assets in 2007, one year before the onset of the Great Recession. Since then, assets held by Golden State credit unions has increased by an average $8.33 billion per year, even as consolidation has reduced the number of CUs over those 12 years.

According to analysis from the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, CUs in California saw a “huge surge” of growth in memberships, loans and deposits from 2016 to 2018. Growth continues, albeit at a slower pace.

Here are several highlight numbers from the two states (all figures are year-over-year):


  • 303 credit unions headquartered in California, down from 311 in 2018
  • Membership rose 5% to reach 12.3 million in 2019, down from 6% member growth one year prior
  • Total deposits were up 5% from 2018 to a total of $174 billion, down from 7% in 2018
  • Total loans are up 9% to $140 billion, down from 12% loan growth last year
  • First mortgage volumes rose by 8% to reach $69 billion, down from 10% growth the year before
  • HELOCs and second mortgages were up 10% to $12 billion, level with last year’s growth rate
  • New auto loans were up 12% year-over-year to $21.5 billion, down from 21% in 2018
  • Used auto loans rose 9% to hit $23.4 billion, a decrease from 15% last year
  • Credit card volumes rose 6% to a total of $6.2 billion, down from an 8% growth rate one year prior
  • Member business loans, not including landlord real estate loans, rose 10% to hit $10.7 billion, rebounding from an 11% decrease between 2017 and 2018.


  • 15 locally headquartered credit unions in the state, down from 16 in 2018
  • Membership up 3% to 361,000; Membership growth one year prior stood at 4%
  • Total deposit growth was at 4%, half of last year’s figure, to reach $4.6 billion
  • Loan growth was down two percentage points for 11% growth, a total of $3.1 billion
  • First mortgage growth equaled 2018, rising by 9% to hit $1.3 billion
  • HELOC and second mortgage growth exceeded 2018’s figure, hitting 6% for $157 million
  • New auto loan growth was down slightly from 34% in 2018 to 29% this year for a total of $419 million
  • Used auto loans grew about half as fast as last year, falling from 15% growth to 7%, a total of $870 million
  • Credit cards continued to contract, down 3% year over year to $83 million
  • Member business loans dropped off significantly, rising just 7% to $376 million, compared to a 29% jump between 2017 and 2018.

The CCUL/NCUL said continued growth in the credit unions in the two states was indicative of “consumers choosing the movement’s unique member-owner structure over other options within the financial services marketplace.”

“Credit unions’ holistic approach to financial health and wellness, better rates, lower fees and volunteer work in their communities continues to resonate with individuals and families,” the leagues said in a statement.

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