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Credit Unions Outpacing Banks in Deposits

According to a new report from SNL Financial, credit unions enjoyed a rapid increase in deposits long before populist rhetoric over bank fees took hold.

Credit unions have been gaining deposits at a greater pace than banks since the beginning of 2009, according to new research from Charlottesville, Va.-based SNL Financial.

SNL data showed that aggregate growth of deposits at banks and credit unions from year-end 2006 remained steady until about the beginning of 2009 before diverging. At that point, credit unions opened up a gap in deposit growth compared to banks.

Since the beginning of 2007, credit unions have seen an aggregate deposit growth of nearly 45 percent, compared to around 30 percent for banks and thrifts, according to SNL data.

SNL said this began even before populist uprisings such as Bank Transfer Day and Occupy Wall Street aimed invective at big banks, urging consumers to take their business to credit unions.

Credit unions began to open up their lead around the time some major bank acquisitions happened, according to the report. For example, SNL said deposits flooded Tukwila, Wash.-based Boeing Employees Credit Union in fall 2008 through the end of the year after Seattle-based Washington Mutual Inc. failed and its banking operations were purchased by JPMorgan. Several credit unions also reported an increase of deposits during the financial crisis of 2008 as some consumers embarked on a flight to safety from troubled Wall Street, according to the report.

[Related: Mo' Money, Mo' Problems for Credit Unions?]

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

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