PORTLAND – With across the board growth in all measurement categories including another new record for membership, the popularity of Maine’s credit unions continued to soar in 2014.
According to recently released year-end statistics of Maine’s 60 credit unions, as reported by the Maine Credit Union League, assets, loans and savings all saw healthy increases during the past year. Perhaps, most impressive, however, is the total membership figure of Maine’s credit unions that reflect a 12-month growth of more than 14,000 new members bringing total membership at Maine’s credit unions to 651,405 members, representing an impressive 2.2% membership growth.
For the twelve-month period ending December 31, 2014, combined assets at Maine’s credit unions grew 4.7% for the year to $6.43 billion. Despite the transition from a mortgage refinancing market, which fueled much of the loan growth in 2013, to a purchase market in 2014, lending at Maine’s credit unions rose by a robust 6.3% to $4.42 billion in outstanding loans to members. Finally, savings at Maine’s credit unions increased at a steady and consistent 4% for the year, an increase of nearly $210 million, to a combined total of $5.45 billion.
Eleven credit unions with ties to Eastern and Northern Maine reported growth and ranked in the Top 30 in asset size including: Maine Savings FCU, which is headquartered in Hampden, and has multiple branches in the region, at #2 with $303 million; Infinity FCU, which has a branch in Bangor, was #5 with $270 million in assets; University CU, which has its main office in Orono and several branches across the state, ranked #6 at $255 million; The County FCU, based in Caribou, was #10 at $196 million; NorState FCU of Madawaska came in at #13 at $175 million in assets; Acadia FCU, which is based in Fort Kent, came in at #20 at $132 million; Bangor FCU, which has its main office in Bangor, ranked #21 at $130 million; Down East CU of Baileyville, with multiple branches throughout the region, at #22 with $128 million in assets; Seaboard FCU, based in Bucksport, came in at #24 at $110 million in assets; Maine Highlands FCU, headquartered in Dexter, was #27 at $95 million; and Sebasticook Valley FCU of Pittsfield ranked #30 with $82 million in assets.Reflecting on the 2014 statistics, John Murphy, President of the Maine Credit Union League, called them “further indication that Maine’s credit unions are the financial services provider of choice for many Maine consumers.
Since 2008, when most experts agree that the Great Recession began, Maine’s credit unions have added a net total of more than 55,000 new members. While popular before the Recession, consumers appear to have a significantly higher appreciation for the value and benefits that Maine’s credit unions provide including being local and owned by the members that use the credit union services. The strength, safety and soundness of Maine’s credit unions have clearly provided a source of stability that is reflected in the long-term growth trend that these figures represent. It’s great to see that not only are credit unions setting new membership records but experiencing impressive increases in member usage of products and services. That is a true indicator of how popular Maine credit unions have become with consumers.”
Murphy also cited other factors as contributing to the strong growth of Maine’s credit unions, including unmatched convenience with the state’s largest branch network with shared branching, which has nearly three times as many branches as any single bank in Maine, and the largest surcharge-free ATM Network in Maine, and the latest leading-edge technology delivery channels for members, such as remote deposit, personal finance management tools, mobile access, free checking accounts with no minimum balance, and much more. “For value and convenience, Maine’s credit unions are the best financial choice for consumers. According to the latest economic research, Maine consumers save $38 million annually by using a credit union through lower and fewer fees, better rates on loans, and higher rates on dividends. At a credit union, membership is ownership and consumers appreciate that structure more and more”
About the Maine Credit Union League
Formed in 1938, the Maine Credit Union League is the State Trade Association for Maine’s 60 credit unions and more than 651,000 members, providing a variety of services and products to assist credit unions in meeting the needs of their membership. For more information, visit www.mainecul.org.