Credit unions in California and Nevada continue to see strong growth in lending and deposits, according to data released Tuesday by the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues.

The leagues said members’ spending and savings choices “provide a gauge into what is happening across both states’ local economies.” The CCUL and NCUL bundle this information each quarter to help their member credit unions spot regional and local trends.

More than 667,000 consumers joined a credit union headquartered in California over the year ending March 31, 2018, the leagues said. In Nevada, 13,000 people joined CUs in the same time frame.

There now are 311 locally headquartered credit unions in California, compared to 440 in 2010, 626 in 2001 and 877 in 1991. The number of members rose to 11.7 million by Q1 2018, a record high, and an increase from 7.6 million in 2002.

Credit unions in California employed 29,576 individuals, an increase of 4 percent year over year.

Nevada is home to 16 locally headquartered credit unions today, compared to 23 in 2010, 29 in 2001 and 35 in 1991. Membership in the Silver State has climbed from 339,000 in 2002 to 353,000 by the first quarter of this year.

Credit unions in Nevada employed 1,179 individuals, an increase of 6 percent year over year.

Lending booming in California

Credit unions in California had $129 billion loaned out within the local community as of March 31, a 12 percent year-over-year increase. This figure has jumped 90 percent from the post-recession low of $68 billion recorded in 2012. It also represents a record outstanding dollar amount on aggregate for the eight most popular loan types – first mortgages, second mortgages, HELOCs, business loans, new and used auto loans, credit cards and other consumer loans.

Golden State CUs saw a 10 percent increase in first mortgages to a record outstanding dollar amount of $64 billion. This represents an increase of 87 percent from the most recent low of $34 billion in 2011. However, the Leagues noted a 4 percent YOY decrease in originations compared to same quarter in the prior year, to $2.7 billion.

HELOCs in California were up 10 percent to $10.9 billion, a figure not seen since 2011. Golden State CUs enjoyed a 13 percent YOY increase in HELOC originations.

New auto loans were up 21 percent to a record outstanding dollar amount of $19.3 billion. This category has risen 297 percent from the most recent low of $4.9 billion recorded in 2012. Used auto loans also hit a record outstanding dollar amount, $21.6 billion, up 15 percent YOY and up 140 percent from the most recent low in 2011, $9 billion.

Credit card lending likewise followed the record-setting trend with an 8 percent YOY increase to a new high outstanding dollar amount of $5.8 billion – double the mark of $2.9 billion in 2006.

The only category of credit union lending in California that showed a decrease was business loans, down 11 percent YOY to $9.7 billion. The Leagues said this category, which includes landlord real estate loans, has “fluctuated greatly” over the past 14 years in a range from $3.7 billion to $10.9 billion.

“A large portion of this $9.7 billion is in non-owner occupied residential real estate loans that receive a ‘business loan’ classification on call reports. The long-term volatility in this category may be due to quick entrance or exit of business lending ‘participations,’ and/or call report data differences from mergers or closures of credit unions whether inside or outside the region,” the Leagues explained.

Credit unions in California held $166 billion in deposits for local consumers, a 7 percent YOY increase and yet another category registering a record amount. CU deposits have doubled from $83 billion in 2006.

Silver State success

Nevada recovered much more slowly from the Great Recession than its giant neighbor to the west. The Q1 trends report for the Silver State noted numerous categories scored multi-year highs – topped by records for used auto loans and total deposits.

At the end of the first quarter of 2018, credit unions in Nevada had $2.8 billion loaned out – a 13 percent YOY increase and hitting a level not seen since 2009. This figure has jumped 49 percent from a post-recession low of $1.9 billion, recorded in 2014.

First mortgages were up 9 percent YOY to $1.21 billion, a level not seen since 2010 and up 24 percent from the most recent low, $982 million recorded in 2014. Unlike California, which saw a slippage in new mortgage originations, Nevada CUs saw a 74 percent YOY increase in originations: $177 million.

HELOCs also saw a boost, with a 5 percent increase overall, an outstanding dollar amount of $148 million that is the highest in 3 years, and a 47 percent YOY increase in originations: $15 million.

Both new and used auto lending was up sharply for Nevada CUs, with a 34 percent increase in new auto loans to $325 million outstanding. This category has nearly tripled from the most recent low of $109 million in 2014. Used auto loans enjoyed a 15 percent increase and hit a record outstanding dollar amount, $815 million. Used auto lending has more than doubled from the most recent low seen in 2011, $377 million.

Credit card lending by Nevada CUs was up 2 percent and hit a record outstanding dollar amount: $85 million. This category has risen 39 percent from the most recent low, $61 million in 2013.

Business loans recorded a 29 percent increase, hitting $352 million. In an explanatory note that was similar to business lending for California, the Leagues said this category has fluctuated greatly between 2005 and 2018, in a range from $75 million to $352 million.

Credit unions in Nevada held $4.4 billion in deposits for local consumers, an 8 percent YOY increase overall, with $4.4 billion representing a record amount. Deposits have doubled from $2.2 billion “sometime before 2003,” the Leagues said. Individual categories hit record outstanding dollar amounts in checking ($959 million), savings ($1.98 billion) and money market ($1 billion) accounts.

Some of Credit Union Journal's previous coverage on growth at California and Nevada CUs can be found here.

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