News & Info for Northwest Credit Unions
From Northwest Credit Union Association

Membership Gains Show Northwest is a Great Place to be a Credit Union

Northwest credit union membership increases have outpaced national gains, as well as both regional and national population growth, prompting NWCUA CEO John Annaloro to call the region one of the greatest places in America to be a credit union.

Across the U.S., credit unions enjoyed a net gain of more than 1.3 million members in 2011, swelling the number of credit union members to nearly 92 million members nationally and marking a year-over-year increase of approximately 1.5 percent.

Credit unions in Washington saw membership growth at even greater rates than the national average. A net gain of 104,000 members in Washington equated to a 3.8-percent year-over-year increase, while a net gain of 19,753 in Oregon represented approximately 1.5-percent growth when adjusted for First Tech Credit Union’s merger with California’s Addison Avenue Credit Union, on par with national growth rates.

And this trend is nothing new. According to National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and U.S. Census Bureau data, Pacific Northwest credit union membership increases have consistently outpaced national membership gains, as well as both regional and national population gains, in aggregate, since 1941.

“The Pacific Northwest is one of the greatest places in America for credit union operations,” said Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) CEO John Annaloro. “In the past 15 years, we’ve expanded the powers of state and federal credit unions regionally, turning Oregon and Washington into national leaders in progressive credit union policy.”

Data supports Annaloro’s theory, too, as the region’s decade-over-decade membership gains once again beat national gains in the decade between 2001 and 2010. Oregon’s numbers are only slightly behind Washington’s, and both states show a clear pattern of success in promoting cooperative finance.

This growth also outpaced state and national population gains. Given a steadily growing population, membership numbers can be expected to grow accordingly. That credit unions in the region are growing faster than the population speaks to a growing tendency toward credit unions and an increasing awareness and understanding of cooperative finance, and the result is that not only is the total number of credit union members growing, but the percentage of the region’s population that calls a credit union home is growing as well.

 

Oregon Credit Union Membership Growth vs. Population Growth

 

1941-1950

1951-1960

1961-1970

1971-1980

1981-1990

1991-2000

2001-2010

National POP Gains

14.50%

18.50%

13.37%

11.43%

9.79%

13.15%

9.35%

Oregon POP Gains

39.61%

16.26%

18.25%

25.90%

7.94%

20.37%

11.97%

National CU Gains

58.26%

100.70%

65.96%

68.17%

34.48%

26.19%

16.00%

Oregon CU Gains

57.03%

158.59%

75.93%

120.61%

24.50%

38.74%

19.62%

Washington Credit Union Membership Growth vs. Population Growth

 

1941-1950

1951-1960

1961-1970

1971-1980

1981-1990

1991-2000

2001-2010

National POP Gains

14.50%

18.50%

13.37%

11.43%

9.79%

13.15%

9.35%

Washington POP Gains

37.02%

19.94%

19.49%

21.21%

17.78%

21.11%

14.09%

National CU Gains

58.26%

100.70%

65.96%

68.17%

34.48%

26.19%

16.00%

Washington CU Gains

40.64%

145.47%

74.21%

79.39%

39.86%

30.45%

24.55%

“Washington and Oregon have model credit union acts that we never, ever stop improving,” Annaloro said. “As a regional movement, Northwest credit unions are tireless when it comes to improving our service to members.”

In addition to clear legislative and regulatory priorities, Northwest credit unions have understandably earned public trust in delivering financial education and serving as partners of choice in public policy issues.

“It’s good to be a Northwest credit union, but it’s even better to be a Northwest credit union member,” Annaloro said.


Questions or Concerns? Contact Matt Halvorson, Anthem Editor: mhalvorson@nwcua.org.

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