ALEXANDRIA, Va.-Rather than slowing down, the membership drive spurred by last fall's Bank Transfer Day sped up in the first and second quarters of the year to a record pace, according to data from NCUA.

The robust 450,000 new members added in last year's third quarter immediately following Bank Transfer Day was followed up by 400,000 added in the fourth quarter-then by 670,000 in this year's first quarter, and another 640,000 in the second quarter.

The 1.3 million new members added in the first six months of 2012 puts credit unions on pace to top to previous high of 2.3 million members added in 2000, following the national campaign to expand membership powers.

In comparison, credit unions added 1.5 million members in all of 2011; 600,000 in 2010; 1.3 million in 2009, and 1.4 million in 2008.

The spurt in new members is paying off in a variety ways. For one, it has resulted in $60 billion of new deposits over the past 12 months and $43 billion so far in 2012, more than the $41 billion added for all of 2011. It is also helping credit unions add loans to their portfolios, either through loan transfers or new loans. Analysts say the loans will show up more with the economy and as new members get more comfortable with their credit union.

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