Report: Kansas credit unions top national growth averages in several categories

01/17/2012 5:00 AM

01/17/2012 2:16 PM

Kansas credit unions outperformed their national peers in a few categories in the third quarter of 2011, according to a recently released report.

The Callahan & Associates report — which the national credit union consultancy has been hired to do quarterly for the Kansas Credit Union Association — said the state’s credit unions bested national averages in assets, membership growth, yield on loans and auto loan balances, during the August-to-October period last year.

Kansas’ total credit union assets increased 7.56 percent year-over-year, to $4.72 billion. Nationally, credit unions’ total assets increased 4.71 percent in the same period, to $963.3 billion.

The report said Kansas’ credit union membership base increased 3.4 percent from the year ago quarter, a rate that was more than five times the national average.

“To be fair to Kansas, this hasn’t been a significant change,” said Lydia Cole, senior industry analyst for Washington, D.C.-based Callahan, and an author of the report. She said that at least in the past year, Kansas tends to be higher than the national average in credit union membership growth.

And the higher membership numbers weren’t because of the so-called Bank Transfer Day, in which customers of large banks were encouraged to take their business to smaller banks and credit unions, in part to protest more and higher fees that large banks were implementing or planning to implement.

“Broadly speaking we did see a lot of momentum around Bank Transfer Day,” Cole said, adding that one of the states to benefit from that movement was Kansas. But the event happened in November, so the data won’t show up until fourth quarter 2011 information is analyzed, Cole said.

Also growing faster than the national average was Kansas credit union auto loan balances. They increased 5.6 percent from a year ago while nationally, credit unions’ auto loan balances decreased 1.7 percent.

Higher auto loan balances is why Cole thinks Kansas credit unions’ yield on loans — essentially a measure of credit unions’ return on interest from loans — was 6.47 percent compared with the national average of 5.83 percent. “That’s my gut feeling,” she said.

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