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EECU is the Central Valley's largest credit union.

published on January 12, 2018 - 11:49 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

New data from the California Credit Union League finds that 21,000 people became credit union members in the Central Valley in the one-year period ending in the third quarter of 2017.

Fourteen credit unions headquartered Fresno, Kings, Madera and Tulare counties now boast 465,000 “member-owners” — a record high, and up 71 percent from 2002.

Here are some other facts about Central Valley credit unions in the third quarter of 2017 from the California Credit Union League:

— First-mortgages rose 7 percent, hitting a record $630 million. (This may include fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, purchase, traditional refinance, and cash-out refinance mortgages)

— Home Equity Lines of Credit and second mortgages combined increased 7 percent, reaching $134 million — an amount not seen since 2014.

— New auto loans rose 12 percent, hitting a record $901 million. Used auto loans rose 9 percent, hitting a record $425 million.

— Credit card lending increased 4 percent, reaching $186 million — an amount not seen since 2011.

— Total deposits rose 7 percent, hitting a record $4.1 billion (including record individual amounts in checking, savings and money market accounts).

“These credit union trends will continue as long as the economy continues to perform well,” said Dwight Johnston, chief economist for the California Credit Union League.

Johnston noted some areas of concern. Employers are having increasing difficulty finding workers in a tight labor market, which will limit economic growth “to some degree.” He also has concerns the economy may start running out of steam by late 2018. Consumer spending might be “good” by then, but its growth rate could still disappoint. If Wall Street reacts negatively to consumer spending numbers versus expectations, businesses could somewhat pull back on spending and hiring plans, according to a news release.

However, “There is nothing that suggests an economic slowdown is imminent, which makes the overall picture for credit unions bright,” Johnston said. “In fact, the business-skewed tax bill Congress recently passed should accelerate economic growth through at least the third quarter of this year.”

According to the most recent credit unions list from The Business Journal (published May 5, 2017), the institution with the highest local assets was Educational Employees Credit Union, with $2.7 billion in assets and more than 260,000 members.

Noble Credit Union was No. 2 with $641 million in assets and more than 75,000 members, followed by The Golden 1 Credit Union with $584.3 million in local assets and 91,297 local members.


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