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Net income climbs 26% at US credit unions in 2018

Balance-sheet growth and margin expansion propelled net income at U.S. credit unions to an all-time high in 2018, with the measure surging 25.7% year over year to $13.15 billion.

While credit unions continued to amass assets, the rate of balance-sheet growth slowed compared to previous years. Total loans and leases were up 9.0%, down from the double-digit rate growth seen from 2014 to 2016. Total shares and deposits increased 5.2%, down from growth of 6.0% in 2017 and 7.6% in 2016.

The aggregate net interest margin in the sector climbed 14 basis points in 2018 to 3.51%, representing the best annual performance since 2011.

People continued to flock to credit unions in 2018, as the number of members was up by 4.9 million. Navy FCU, the country's largest credit union by total assets, led the way with more than 690,000 new members. During the last three years, Navy FCU has bulked up its membership by 2.3 million.

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