BANKING 
CREDIT UNIONS

Credit unions, generally set up by groups of individuals with a common link, such as membership in a labor union, are not-for-profit financial cooperatives that offer personal loans and other consumer banking services. Originating in Europe, the first credit union in this country was formed in Manchester, New Hampshire in 1909. Credit unions now serve more than 80 million people in the United States.

In 1934, President Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act into law, authorizing the establishment of federally chartered credit unions in all states. The purpose of the federal law was “to make more available to people of small means credit for provident [provisions for the future] purposes through a national system of cooperative credit….” In 1970, the National Credit Union Administration, which charters and supervises credit unions, was created along with the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, which insures members’ deposits. Individual credit unions are served by 31 federally insured corporate credit unions, which provide investment, liquidity and payment services for their members.
FEDERAL CREDIT UNIONS AND FEDERALLY INSURED STATE CHARTERED
CREDIT INSTITUTIONS, 1980-2004


(end of year)


 

1980

1990

2000

2002

2003

2004
Operating credit unions      
     Federal12,4408,5116,3365,9535,7765,572
     State4,9104,3493,9803,7353,5933,442
Number of failed institutions23916429151321
Members (000)      
     Federal24,51936,24143,88344,61146,15546,858
     State12,33819,45433,70536,33636,27336,710
Assets ($ millions)      
     Federal$40,092 $130,073 $242,881 $301,238 $336,612 $358,704
     State20,87068,133195,363 255,838 273,572 288,296
Loans outstanding ($ millions)      
     Federal$26,350 $83,029 $163,851$181,767$202,898$223,878
     State14,85244,102137,485160,881173,236190,377
Shares ($ millions)      
     Federal$36,263 $117,892 $210,188$261,819$291,485$308,318
     State18,46962,082169,053222,377236,856247,804

Source: National Credit Union Administration.

CREDIT UNION MEMBERS, 1980-2004

(000)



Source: National Credit Union Administration.

  • From 1980 to 2004 federal and federally insured state credit union assets grew from $61 billion to $647 billion. In 2004 assets increased by $37 billion, or 6.1 percent, from 2003.

  • There are currently fewer than 500 nonfederally insured state chartered credit unions.

CREDIT UNION DISTRIBUTION BY ASSET SIZE, 2004 (1)

(End of year)



Number of credit unions

Percent change
from Dec. 2003

Assets
($ millions)

Percent change
from Dec. 2003
$0 to $.2185-11.1%$22-13.5%
$.2 to $.5343-10.9119-12.4
$.5 to $1452-10.3340-10.3
$1 to $2679-7.11,011-6.9
$2 to $51,323-6.24,512-5.8
$5 to $101,413-5.010,392-5.1
$10 to $201,360-3.819,502-3.8
$20 to $501,573-0.850,466-0.5
$50 to $100817-0.557,5000.1
$100 to $2005310.875,0051.6
$200 to $5004215.0130,5566.3
More than $5002496.0318,67911.2
Total9,346-3.7668,1046.2

(1) From Credit Union Call Reports.

Source: Credit Union National Association.

TOP TEN U.S. CREDIT UNIONS BY ASSETS, 2004 (1)

($ millions)


Rank

Company

Assets
1Navy$22,927.7
2State Employees'12,116.8
3Pentagon7,021.4
4The Golden 15,436.1
5Orange County Teachers5,197.1
6Boeing Employees5,151.9
7Suncoast Schools4,491.8
8Alliant4,467.5
9American Airlines3,992.9
10Security Service3,588.5

(1) Federally insured credit unions.

Source: National Credit Union Administration.