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Michigan Credit Union League Home » Information Services » Publications » News Articles  

Michigan Credit Unions Create Jobs, Support Businesses as Membership Continues to Grow   (Misc News: September 6, 2012)

Michigan credit unions have seen some of the largest increases in hiring and business lending in recent years as they continue to serve an ever-increasing membership and contribute to the state’s economic turnaround, according to second quarter data just released by the NCUA.

An analysis of the data by MCUL & Affiliates shows that full-time employment at Michigan credit unions increased 1.2% in the second quarter of 2012, which represents the best quarterly increase in four years. Over the past year, full-time employment at credit unions rose 3.3% compared to 2.1% nationally. Full-time employment at Michigan credit unions has now increased for five straight quarters. 

“Michigan credit unions are not only proud to provide outstanding services and products that help people and businesses save more and own their money,” David Adams, MCUL & Affliates CEO said, “We’re also proud that we can help put people back to work in good jobs and be part of the solution to today’s economic issues. Michigan’s economy is slowly coming back in several sectors, and we’re pleased that our credit unions can also put out the ‘now hiring’ sign. When people have jobs, they spend locally and that benefits our entire community.”

Nearly one-third of Michigan’s credit unions added new full-time employees in the past 12 months. That includes Clinton Twp.-based Michigan Schools & Government CU, where hiring is up 29%, and the credit union reports that the number of year-to-date hires is double the pace of 2011.

“With more than 8,000 applicants vying for open positions at our credit union this year, the response to our job postings is quite frankly overwhelming,” MSGCU CEO Peter Gates said. “Our credit union plays a central role in our community and that means doing everything we can to support the families and businesses we serve, including hiring locally and creating jobs.”

The hiring trend is in part the result of credit unions’ growing membership. Michigan credit unions added an additional 12,000 new members in the second quarter of 2012, for a total of more than 74,000 in the past 12 months. More than 4.5 million Michigan residents, or half the state’s population, are now credit union members.

Michigan credit unions are also supporting the economy by supplying much-needed capital to small businesses. The number of Michigan credit unions offering business loans is up 6.8% in the second quarter, with nine credit unions now offering this service for the first time. Forty-six percent of Michigan credit unions now offer business loans compared to 27% nationally. Member business loans increased 4.2% in the second quarter, compared to 1.7% nationally. Over the last 12 months, member business loans increased 13.6% compared to 8.2% nationally.

“Michigan credit unions have been and will continue to be well ahead of the curve when it comes to supporting their communities and the small businesses that play such a large role in them,” Adams said.

Right now an arbitrary cap on credit union member business lending threatens to limit the critical access to capital that will help the economy recover and grow, and MCUL is joined by both of Michigan’s U.S. senators and nine of the state’s 14 representatives in support of S. 2231, the Credit Union Small Jobs Bill, which would raise that cap. That legislation remains before the U.S. Senate.

In the meantime, Michigan credit unions continue to find new ways to support small businesses. After nearly a year of advocacy efforts by MCUL & Affiliates on behalf of Michigan credit unions, the Michigan Commissioner of Financial and Insurance Regulation signed an order last month authorizing CUSOs to provide small business equity investments to Michigan credit unions and their members.

“This unprecedented opportunity for credit unions has tremendous potential and is further evidence of our commitment to supporting small businesses and contributing to the economic turnaround,” Adams said.

Additional highlights of second quarter data that point to an improving economy include:
•    The number of members that Michigan credit unions report as having filed for bankruptcy as of the second quarter is 17% lower than this time last year, and 35% lower than two years ago.
•    Compared to one year ago, the percentage of loans written off by credit unions has decreased by 19%, down to 0.8% of all loans. This is down from the March 2010 high of 1.19% and continues to approach pre-recession levels.
•    Michigan credit unions originated 69% more first mortgages in the first 6 months of 2012 compared to the first six months of 2011. This speaks well to both low interest rate refinancing and the continued recovery of the state’s housing market.

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