Friday, March 29, 2013
According to year-end statistics for 2012, the trend of more Maine consumers establishing and/or strengthening a relationship with a credit union continues to push Maine's credit unions to new heights in growth.
For the 12-month period ending December 31, 2012, Maine's 61 credit unions experienced solid growth in all measurement categories including members, assets, savings and loans, and achieved new milestones in several of them.
As of December 31, 2012, combined assets at Maine's credit unions increased by nearly $275 million and now stand at $5.88 billion, an increase of 4.9%. Loan growth represents a key economic indicator not only for Maine credit unions but for the overall economy and, for the year, loans outstanding to members increased by $227 million, reflecting a notable 6.2% increase, over year-end 2011 figures. 2012 also saw savings at Maine's credit unions reach new heights with a 5.4% growth in savings bringing total combined savings to $5.04 billion, a 5.4% gain for the year. Finally, membership at Maine's credit unions reflects a net gain of nearly 8,500 new members, a 1.4% rise. Total statewide membership at Maine's credit unions is at 625,500 members, the highest year-end total ever. Of Note, Shaw's Employees FCU merged with an out of state credit union during 2012, impacting member growth in the state. Excluding Shaw's Employees FCU from the annual growth calculation, membership increased 2.0% in 2012.
"These figures reflect the significant changes in consumer attitudes and preferences over the past few years with consumers turning to Maine's credit unions in growing numbers. Consumers with existing credit union relationships are utilizing additional products and services, as well, which is solidifying the increasing number of consumers that use their credit union as their primary financial institution. We are particularly pleased at the strong loan growth and membership growth credit unions across Maine experienced during the past year; it reinforces the many positives that credit unions are providing to members including value, trust and safety. As financial cooperatives, credit unions are focused on helping and serving their members and, clearly, Maine consumers appreciate the benefits and advantages that using a credit union offers," stated John Murphy, President of the Maine Credit Union League.
According to the League's findings, convenience and access is playing a key role in the growth of credit unions. "Consumers have different needs, but convenience and access to their financial services is important to nearly everyone. The fact that Maine credit unions not only have the largest surcharge-free ATM Network in Maine, but also have a shared branch network that has nearly three times as many branches as any single bank in Maine means that Maine credit unions are more convenient and more accessible than any other financial institution in Maine. In today's world, the ability to conduct financial transactions in a variety of ways and at a variety of locations is essential and Maine credit unions are delivering for consumers."