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Credit Unions in San Diego County Generate $1.95 Billion Impact

San Diego County CA— Credit unions serving members in San Diego County recently generated a $1.95 billion annual impact to the region’s economy, which supported 12,560 local jobs and also produced $132 million in savings to those members according to a special report released on Monday by the California Credit Union League.

The economic impact of both locally-headquartered and non-local credit unions serving members across the county in 2016 also contributed to the industry’s total statewide impact across California, which was $17 billion. This is equal to the same positive effect as some of the nation’s largest corporations in America, including Kraft Heinz, General Mills, Xerox, and Facebook—each having approximately $17 – 18 billion in annual revenue.

As they pump financial benefits back to members through offering better interest rates on loans and deposit accounts, as well as lower or no fees, these 32 credit unions were serving more than 1.3 million members across San Diego County through a mixture of online and mobile banking channels, as well as a network of 171 branches that members can visit in person.

The reports were commissioned by the League and independently completed and published by ECONorthwest, an economic research and consulting firm in Portland, OR. The study looked at balance sheet, regulatory “call report,” and operational data to come to its conclusions. ECONorthwest completed an independent analysis of credit unions surveyed and used a “multiplier-effect” model to extrapolate its economic conclusions.

Locally-Headquartered Trends

In a separate local quarterly-trends report, 18 credit unions headquartered in San Diego County collectively hit records in membership (1.02 million members), money lent-out ($12.5 billion), and deposits ($15.4 billion). These statewide trends in first-mortgages, second-mortgages, HELOCs, business loans, new and used auto loans, credit cards, and other consumer loans give a snapshot of how local consumers are currently spending their money.

“Credit unions’ combined ripple effect in the broader economy cannot be ignored as their financially cooperative, not-for-profit model reinvests local dollars back into local economies,” said Diana Dykstra, president and CEO of the League, which is based in Ontario, CA. “These reports reaffirm credit unions’ efforts to empower their members by helping them make wise financial decisions and thrive.”

Both the economic-impact report and local quarterly-trends report comes at a time when local policymakers engage in a renewed focus on the economic health of individuals. Household wealth and socio-economic mobility are increasingly seen as being tied to opportunities in financial education, an area many credit unions consider their strength.

“Research shows that up to half of wealth inequality may be caused by differences in financial literacy,” states a January 2017 Education, Income and Wealth article published by the Federal Reserve. “As a result, people are more likely to use costly home loan mortgage products, pay higher transaction costs and fees, and use high-cost borrowing options.”

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