Wisconsin credit unions are weathering economic storm

Although many private banks have been besieged by the credit crisis, subprime loans and mortgage foreclosures, Wisconsin’s credit unions appear to be charging ahead with few problems. According to the mid-year bulletin of the Wisconsin Department of Institutions Office of Credit Unions, the total assets of credit unions in the state grew to $17.8 billion as of June 30, up 7.4 percent, or $1.2 billion, from the beginning of the year.

Wisconsin credit unions’ net worth ratio remained strong at 10.78 percent. Their delinquent loans were 1.14 percent, down from 1.27 percent as of December 31, 2007. Their return on average assets was up slightly to 0.72 percent, compared with 0.67 percent in June 2007. Wisconsin credit unions’ loans outstanding grew by $629 million, and savings grew by $1.1 billion. Their loan-to share ratio continues to be high at 92.89 percent.

"Overall, the financial indicators for Wisconsin credit unions exhibit sound financial performance for the first half of 2008 amid volatile and challenging markets," wrote Suzanne Cowan, director of the Office of Credit Unions.

"Overall, Wisconsin credit unions have fared very well in this tough economy. Not-for-profit credit unions look to provide affordable services that are in their members’ best interests. The financial prosperity of its membership equates to the credit unions’ stability and growth, so while this is good news for Wisconsin credit unions, it’s especially good news for the 2.1 million credit union members across the state," said Jo Whiting, executive vice president and chief advocacy officer of the Wisconsin Credit Union League in Pewaukee.

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