Home Info Newsroom League News Release Archive Virginia-Based Credit Unions Continue to Grow; Top 15 Million Memberships as of March 31

Virginia-Based Credit Unions Continue to Grow; Top 15 Million Memberships as of March 31


Lewis Wood
Vice President, Public Relations & Communication
800.768.3344, ext. 1629

Memberships at Virginia-based credit unions increased 10% year-over-year to 15.4 million as of March 31, 2021, while loan growth slowed to tally a 3.38% increase for the same 12-month period.

Strong membership growth has been a bright spot at Virginia-based credit unions for more than a decade. At year-end 2015, the commonwealth’s credit unions counted just shy of 10 million memberships. At year-end 2010, that number was 7 million.

“Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers continue to flock to Virginia-based credit unions,” noted Virginia Credit Union League President Rick Pillow. “Consumers are finding they appreciate credit unions’ focus on the needs of members and their accessible and consumer-friendly products and services. Our focus on members took on new significance this past year as many families struggled with hits to their income and unemployment.

"Credit unions have aided members by offering payment deferrals and forbearance programs, loan payment modifications and emergency loans, said Pillow. They also quickly ramped up their electronic banking channels and service capabilities as many members ditched visits to the branch in favor of credit unions’ robust e-banking solutions.

Lending was led by upticks in auto loans, with the commonwealth’s credit unions posting 13.2% growth in used auto loans for the year ended March 31, and 5% growth in new auto loans. First mortgage loans grew by 4.7% and member business loans saw growth of 9.2% during this period.

Fueled in large measure by government stimulus checks, Virginia-based credit unions’ savings balances experienced healthy growth rates in almost every category for the year ended March 31 -- 47.8% increase for share draft/checking account balances; 6.41% for IRAs; 45% for money market shares and 50.7% for regular savings/share accounts.

Members of Virginia-based credit unions realized direct financial benefits of $1.9 billion in 2020, according to an analysis conducted by the Credit Union National Association of loan rates, savings account yields and fees when comparing credit unions to for-profit banks.

Credit unions also supported their communities during the pandemic by offering the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. Eighteen of the commonwealth’s credit unions provided more than 10,000 PPP loans totaling $338 million to help small businesses impacted by the pandemic keep employees on their payrolls.

“For more than a century, credit unions have helped members build financial security, improve their standard of living and weather financial hardship,” said Pillow. “In every crisis we’ve faced, credit unions have remained true to that mission, and the pandemic has been no exception. We remain committed to a ‘People Helping People’ philosophy that puts the needs of members first.”

By almost every measure, credit unions nationwide have weathered the pandemic exceedingly well, but there remain areas of concern for the system and for the financial services industry as a whole. Short-term market disruptions are already being seen in some sectors. As an example, the supply of automobiles -- new and pre-owned -- has been an issue; so, too, has housing inventories, which are at historic lows in many areas of the nation. Financial institutions will be battling inflationary pressure and will need to manage their balance sheet components accordingly.

About Virginia's Credit Unions

Virginia's 112 credit unions have assets totaling $215 billion and hold $133 billion in loans. They offer a full range of loan and savings solutions, with convenient branch access nationwide. Consumers seeking to join a member-owned credit union can visit yourmoneyfurther.com.

About the Virginia Credit Union League

The Virginia Credit Union League is the state trade association for the Commonwealth’s not-for-profit, member-owned credit unions. Through leadership, vision and the trust of our credit unions, the League is ensuring the growth, success and diversity of Virginia’s credit unions. Learn more at vacul.org.

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