Credit unions earned $14.1 billion in 2019, most profitable year in at least the last 10

Credit unions earned $14.1 billion in 2019, up 8.8% (or $1.1 billion) from 2018, the federal credit union regulator reported Thursday in releasing year-end financial performance numbers, the most profitable year-end performance in at least the last 10 years.

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) also noted that return on average assets (ROAA) was 94 basis points in 2019, up two bp from the previous year. The agency said the median return on average assets 60 bp, up 4 bp from 2018.

The NCUA numbers reflect results from federally insured credit unions (FICUs), which represent the vast majority (98%) of all credit unions. The remaining credit unions, which the agency does not provide statistics for, are privately insured, state-chartered credit unions.

With regard to income, NCUA noted that interest income rose $7.2 billion (13.4%) over the year to $61.3 billion, and non-interest income increased $1.4 billion, (7.3%) to $21.2 billion.

The agency also reported that the FICUs now hold $1.57 trillion in assets, up $113 billion (or 7.8%) from the previous year. The credit unions also counted 120.4 million memberships at year-end 2019, up 4.2 million from the end of the prior year.

The number of the credit unions continued to decline in 2019, the agency noted, with 5,236 at the end of year. At year-end 2018, there were 5,375. NCUA said the decline in the number of credit unions was “consistent with long-running industry consolidation trends.”

Other numbers reported by the agency included:

  • Credit unions’ net worth ratio was 11.37% at year end 2019, compared with 11.30% one year earlier. Overall, credit union net worth increased by $14 billion, the agency said (8.5% higher than the previous year), to $178.3 billion.
  • Total loans outstanding increased $64 billion (6.2%) over the year to $1.1 trillion; savings advanced by $85 billion (7.4%) to $1.2 trillion. Insured savings and deposits rose $85 billion (7.4%) from the previous year to $1.2 trillion.

NCUA Releases Q4 2019 Credit Union System Performance Data