BANKING
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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. New federal rules have made it easier for credit unions to expand.

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 35 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, 1980-2002


(end of year)


 

1980

1990

1995

2000

2001

2002
Operating credit unions      
Loans ($ millions)      
Savings ($ millions)      
Members (000)      
Assets ($ millions)      
Number of failed institutions23916422292215
     State4,9104,3494,3583,9803,8663,735
     State12,33819,45424,92733,70535,53236,336
     Federal12,4408,5117,3296,3366,1185,953
     State14,85244,10271,606137,485152,014160,881
     State18,46962,08299,838169,053201,807222,377
     State20,87068,133112,861195,363231,280255,838
     Federal24,51936,24142,16343,88343,81744,611
     Federal$26,350 $83,029 $120,514 $163,851 $170,326 $181,767
     Federal$36,263 $117,892 $170,300 $210,188 $235,202 $261,819
     Federal$40,092 $130,073 $193,781 $242,881 $270,125 $301,238

Source: National Credit Union Administration.

CREDIT UNION MEMBERS, 1980-2002



Source: National Credit Union Administration.

  • From 1980 to 2002, federal and federally-insured state credit union assets grew from $61 billion to $557 billion. In 2002, assets increased $56 billion, or 11 percent, from 2001.

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

ASSETS AND LIABILITIES OF CREDIT UNIONS, 1998-2002

($ billions, end of year)


 

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002
Total financial assets$391.5$414.5$441.1$505.5$560.8
Checkable deposits and currency9.126.426.736.838.4
Time and savings deposits23.416.615.52324.5
Federal funds and security repos6.89.342.51.7
Credit market instruments324.2351.7379.7421.2463.9
Open market paper0.41.91.22.43.6
U.S. government securities71.570.969.288105.1
     Treasury13.19.68.27.47.8
     Agency58.461.360.980.697.3
Home mortgages96.9111124.9141.3159.4
Consumer credit155.4167.9184.4189.6195.7
Mutual fund shares3.62.52.23.73.5
Miscellaneous assets24.3812.918.328.7
Total liabilities355.3376.1398.1458.9509.0
Shares/deposits349366.7389.1450.2496.9
     Checkable4345.451.354.759.7
     Small time and savings287.5299.8312.7361.3394.4
     Large time18.521.625.134.142.8
Other loans and advances1.13.43.44.96.9
Miscellaneous liabilities5.265.63.85.1

Source: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

CREDIT UNION DISTRIBUTION BY ASSET SIZE, 2002 (1)



Asset size ($ millions)

Number of
credit unions

Percent change
 from Dec. 2001

Assets
 ($ millions)

Percent change
from Dec. 2001
$0 - $.2233-12.7%$29 -11.2%
$.2 - $.5415-10.9144-10.3
$.5 - $1573-13.1420-14
$1 - $2808-9.91,184-10.4
$2 - $51,525-8.05,113-8.6
$5 - $101,578-1.111,487-0.3
$10 - $201,430-1.420,479-1.2
$20 - $501,599-0.951,266-1.3
$50 - $1007964.755,8953.6
$100 - $2005046.170,0634.6
$200 - $5003747.2115,1015.3
More than $50020624.8243,50726.4
Total10,041-3574,68711.7

(1) From Credit Union Call Reports.

Source: National Credit Union Administration.

TOP TEN CREDIT UNIONS, 2002 (1)

($ millions)


Rank

Company

Assets
1Navy$17,573.4
2State Employees’9,789.7
3Pentagon5,175.3
4Boeing Employees’4,402.4
5The Golden 14,275.1
6United Airlines Employees’4,138.2
7Orange County Teachers4,005.7
8American Airlines3,882.7
9Suncoast Schools  3,529.0
10Kinecta2,996.8

(1) Ranked by assets.

Source: National Credit Union Administration.