WASHINGTON--Credit unions have posted their strongest-ever loan performance through their first three quarters of 2012, according to analysis of 5300 Call Report data by Callahan & Associates. Released as part of Callahan's FirstLook program, the analysis found credit unions posted 4.2% loan growth through the first three quarters. Credit unions in nearly every state in the country posted positive loan growth, in contrast to only two years ago, when nearly half the country posted negative loan growth, Callahan's said.

Other findings:

• Rising balances in cars, cards, and homes drove the loan portfolio higher. Annual growth for used and new auto loans hit 8.7% and 6.5%, respectively.

• Outstanding credit card balances increased 5.3% annually to $38.2 billion while first mortgages, with 7.0% annual growth, also played a strong role in the overall increase in loans.


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