Revenue at U.S. credit unions increased 11.0% annually to $19.7 billion as of March 31, 2019, according to estimates from Callahan & Associates based on first quarter performance data.
Analysts at Callahan attribute a full 98.9% of this increase to interest income. Loan income and investment income rose 13.0% and 24.2%, respectively, from this time last year. Operating expenses grew at a slower rate of 7.4% to $11.7 billion. This dynamic fueled year-over-year net income growth of 11.1%, with aggregate net income for the industry totaling $3.2 billion.
Larger bottom lines allow credit unions to use excess earnings to return value to members in the form of immediate savings, dividends, and improved service offerings.
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) raised its benchmark interest rate four times in 2018. As a result, funding costs have moved higher even into the first quarter of 2019. The average cost of funds rose 25 basis points year-over-year to 0.93%. As of March 31, credit unions have paid $2.7 billion in member dividends, an increase of 52.4% from the same time last year.
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