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Virginia-Based Credit Unions Celebrate Membership Milestone

Virginia-based credit unions celebrated a membership milestone on March 31, as they collectively topped 13 million memberships. Nationwide, total credit union memberships reached 118.6 million.

Consumers have been flocking to member-owned, not-for-profit credit unions since the beginning of the financial crisis and Great Recession more than a decade ago, and few states can boast the consistently strong membership growth rates experienced by the Commonwealth’s credit unions.

“Virginia-based credit unions have seen phenomenal membership growth during the past decade,” noted Rick Pillow, president of the Virginia Credit Union League, the state trade association for Virginia-based credit unions. “Through their own marketing efforts, positive press and consumers’ desire for a safe, consumer-friendly banking option, Virginia-based credit unions have added more than 6 million memberships since the end of 2009.”

The membership of Virginia-based credit unions is spread across the globe, owing to the fact many Virginia-based credit unions serve members of the military and employees of the federal government. An estimated 4 million Virginia residents are members of a credit union.

The Commonwealth’s credit unions saw continued growth and positive trends in almost all key performance indicators for the year ended March 31, 2019, according to data compiled by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), credit unions’ federal regulator. Loan growth topped 8.76 percent; savings growth was 10.7 percent; and asset growth reached 10.8 percent, all of which topped average national growth rates.

Almost all the major loan categories, including credit cards, new automobiles, used automobiles, and first mortgages saw solid growth rates -- 12.2 percent, 5.9 percent, 6.7 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively.

Credit unions offer many of the same banking services as for-profit banks, but thanks to credit unions’ not-for-profit structure, earnings are returned to members in the form of lower loan rates, higher savings rates, and low or no service fees. The National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) also insures individual deposit accounts up to $250,000 and joint accounts up to $250,000 per member. NCUSIF is equivalent to the insurance provided by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for bank accounts.

The Virginia Credit Union League is the statewide trade association that works to promote, protect and support Virginia’s 123 credit unions. With $163 billion in assets, the Commonwealth’s credit unions are trusted financial cooperatives that serve more than 16 million members across the globe. To learn more, visit www.vacul.org.

Year Total Memberships (Virginia-Based Credit Unions)
2018 13 million
2017 12.8 million
2016 11 million
2015 9.9 million
2014 9.1 million
2013 8.4 million
2012 7.7 million
2011 7.2 million
2010 6.9 million
2009 6.6 million
2008 6.2 million
2007 5.9 million
2006 5.6 million
2005 5.3 million
2004 5.1 million
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