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, 1980-2005


(end of year)



1980

1990

2000

2003

2004

2005
Operating credit unions      
     Federal12,4408,5116,3365,7765,5725,393
     State4,9104,3493,9803,5933,4423,302
Number of failed institutions23916429132115
Members (000)      
     Federal24,51936,24143,88346,15546,85847,914
     State12,33819,45433,70536,27336,71036,896
Assets ($ millions)      
     Federal$40,092 $130,073 $242,881 $336,612 $358,704 $377,826
     State20,87068,133195,363$273,572 $288,296 $300,871
Loans outstanding ($ millions)      
     Federal$26,350 $83,029 $163,851 $202,898$223,878$249,521
     State14,85244,102137,485173,236190,377208,734
Shares ($ millions)      
     Federal$36,263 $117,892 $210,188 $291,485$308,318$321,831
     State18,46962,082169,053236,856247,804255,588

Source: National Credit Union Administration.

CREDIT UNION MEMBERS, 1980-2005

(000)



Source: National Credit Union Administration.

  • From 1980 to 2005 federal and federally insured state credit union assets grew from $61 billion to $679 billion. In 2005 assets increased by $32 billion, or 4.9 percent, from 2004.

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

ASSETS AND LIABILITIES OF CREDIT UNIONS, 2001-2005

($ billions, end of year)



2001

2002

2003

2004

2005
Total financial assets$505.5$560.8$617.3$654.7$685.5
Checkable deposits and currency36.838.441.540.238.1
Time and savings deposits23.024.526.426.321.8
Federal funds and security repos2.51.71.64.16.7
Credit market instruments421.2463.9514.5556.5595.4
Open market paper2.43.61.61.91.3
U.S. government securities88.0105.1124.4126.0117.2
     Treasury7.47.88.99.07.7
     Agency- and GSE (1) -backed securities80.697.3115.5117.0109.5
Home mortgages141.3159.4182.6213.2245.6
Consumer credit189.6195.7205.9215.4231.3
Mutual fund shares3.73.54.13.12.2
Miscellaneous assets18.328.729.224.421.2
Total liabilities458.9509.0560.3595.1621.6
Shares/deposits450.2496.9544.9574.6595.5
     Checkable54.759.767.474.979.9
     Small time and savings361.3394.4424.0439.7453.0
     Large time34.142.853.660.062.6
Other loans and advances4.96.99.111.414.7
Miscellaneous liabilities3.85.16.39.111.4

(1) Government-sponsored enterprise.

Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

CREDIT UNION DISTRIBUTION BY ASSET SIZE, 2005 (1)

(End of year)


Asset size ($ millions)

Number of credit unions

Percent change
from Dec. 2004

Assets
($ millions)

Percent change
from Dec. 2004
$0 to $.2179-3.2%$21-6.5%
$.2 to $.5312-9.3108-9.6
$.5 to $1428-5.3316-6.9
$1 to $2643-5.3953-5.7
$2 to $51,227-7.34,142-8.2
$5 to $101,357-4.09,873-5.0
$10 to $201,304-4.118,681-4.2
$20 to $501,528-2.949,068-2.8
$50 to $100799-2.256,054-2.5
$100 to $2005371.175,8641.1
$200 to $5004261.2131,9631.1
$500 to $1,0001649.3111,3188.8
More than $1,0001078.1242,02811.9
Total9,011-3.6700,3904.8

(1) From Credit Union Call Reports.

Source: Credit Union National Association.

TOP TEN U.S. CREDIT UNIONS BY ASSETS, 2005 (1)

($ millions)


Rank

Company

Assets
1Navy$24,644.4
2State Employees'12,916.5
3Pentagon8,091.5
4The Golden 16,180.7
5Boeing Employees6,137.9
6Orange County Teachers5,961.1
7Suncoast Schools5,004.5
8Alliant4,378.8
9American Airlines4,011.9
10Security Service3,975.6

(1) Federally insured credit unions.

Source: National Credit Union Administration.