By David Adams
I hope that you’re all beginning to settle into fall – one of our state’s most beautiful seasons and one of the busiest for us here at MCUL & Affiliates.
We’re starting the season off on a great note: second quarter credit union performance data is now in, and our industry continues to pick up steam. Michigan credit unions have added nearly 17,000 new members so far this year, which makes eight straight quarters of increases. Today, about 46 percent of Michiganders are members compared to about 30 percent of the population nationally. Loans grew faster than deposits in the second quarter, bringing the loans-to-deposits ratio up from its lowest level since 1994 to 62.26. Auto loans led the way with loans for new autos up more in Q2 (at 3.6 percent) than in any of the past 10 quarters. Used auto loans were up 5.1 percent for the quarter. Both growth rates were better than national rates, which were 2.8 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively. Michigan credit unions financed more fixed-rate mortgages in 2012 than in any previous year, and yet financed more in the first half of 2013 than in 2012. Delinquent loans as a percentage of total loans remained under 1 percent as the economy continues to improve. Member business lending continues to rise, up another 8.4 percent in the first half of the year, and far higher than the 5.3 percent rise nationally. The boom in student loans is impacting Michigan credit unions as total loans reached $100 million for the first time with growth of 8.9 percent so far in 2013. On the deposit side, total deposits are up 4.2 percent in the first half of 2013. Share draft accounts are leading the way, up 7.1 percent so far in 2013, 10 percent in 2012, and nearly 60 percent in the past four years.
All of this is powerful ammunition as we continue to fight for what we deserve in Lansing and in Washington. The vigilant lobbying we’ve done all summer in conjunction with the Don’t Tax My Credit Union campaign has paid off in a big way. I’m pleased to report that we have now secured unanimous support for our industry and our tax exemption from the Michigan congressional delegation. As you know, it’s hard to get members of Congress to agree on ANYTHING these days, but we have done just that: 14 representatives and our two senators have all spoken out on behalf of the important role credit unions play in communities across the state. As Congress heads back to Washington this month and continues the tax reform process, we will continue to work this issue from every angle, and we ask you to do the same. Continue to ask your members to go to www.donttaxmycreditunion.org. Visit our website to use our CapWiz tool to thank your representative for his or her support. And please consider joining us in D.C. on Oct. 1 as we once again Hike the Hill in support of the industry. We’ll be sitting down with members of the Michigan congressional delegation to drive home the message that a tax on credit unions would be a tax on the 96 million Americans who rely on them. If this battle has shown us anything, it’s that when we speak with a united voice, our lawmakers listen.
As you can see, we’ve got a lot of ammunition as we head back to D.C. All of this just helps build an already strong case for our lawmakers: that Michigan families, students and businesses alike recognize the superior value and service that our credit unions offer and that credit unions continue to help lead the state’s economic recovery.
Another way we make that case is through our annual CRI Report. This publication goes out to all Michigan lawmakers – state and federal – and details the many ways credit unions impact their members and their communities. But we can’t compile that data without your help. The CRI survey will soon be coming your way and we urge you to take just a few moments to fill it out and return it by Nov. 1. This year’s survey was put together by the National CU Foundation and will help us get a handle on our credit union community’s volunteerism, community works, donations and scholarships so that we can tell the most complete story possible in the next CRI report.
Turning now to CU Solutions Group, where there is yet another opportunity for you to drive even more auto loans to your credit union. For credit unions enrolled in the Invest in America program at the premium level, we’re now pleased to be able to offer real-time discount request data for the Credit Union Member Discount program for General Motors. Because more than 90% of requests convert to a purchase, the data provides a solid lead for auto lending. We know that in today’s fast-paced world, this real-time reporting of GM authorizations will give you exactly what you need – the ability to reach out quickly to your members and help them secure credit union auto financing. We appreciate the feedback of our IIA-member credit unions and will continue to enhance this program with your help.
Another auto-friendly program is our Gas Station TV advertising opportunity offered through our Marketing Solutions division. GSTV offers a powerful way to target consumers demographically, right down to individual gas stations. Recently, Michigan’s largest credit union, DFCU Financial became the latest in the list of those signing on to take advantage of this hyper-local marketing opportunity, so there’s a good chance you’ll catch a glimpse the next time you’re filling up in the Metro Detroit area.
Our Technology Solutions division is driving forward in its own right. We are currently in the midst of transitioning all the websites we host to a new platform which offers cutting-edge security and will truly set CUSG apart as a best-in-class hosting provider.
From new opportunities in Lending & Insurance Solutions to new products from Marketing Solutions to help you best position your credit union, we are constantly innovating and refining our offerings to bring you what you need.
For more information on our advocacy, education and events, and current initiatives, visit www.mcul.org. And for more information on solutions for your credit union, visit www.cusolutionsgroup.com.
I wish you a happy start to the new season, and as always I welcome your input and feedback.
View the “Michigan Priority Report” on CUBE TV for a video summary of MCUL & Affiliates CEO David Adams’ September Priority Report introduction.