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P.R. credit unions show ‘solid performance’ in past 5 yrs

COSSEC President Daniel Rodríguez-Collazo

COSSEC President Daniel Rodríguez-Collazo

Puerto Rico’s credit unions have shown “solid performance” over the past five years, with an 8 percent growth in assets and membership growth of nearly 10 percent, Daniel Rodríguez-Collazo, president of the Corporation for the Supervision and Insurance of Puerto Rico Cooperatives, known as COSSEC in Spanish, said Wednesday.

Puerto Rico’s 116 credit unions reported asset growth of $622 million, to $8.4 billion as of Sept. 30, from the $7.8 billion on record for 2011, according to the regulator’s most recent data.

Loans also showed an increase of $290 million over the five-year period, or 6.6 percent, to $4.6 billion from $4.3 billion in 2011. Loan delinquency rates stand at 5 percent, which Rodríguez-Collazo defined as “a great achievement for COSSEC and credit unions” for remaining at reasonable levels and well below other financial institutions.

“If we examine the most recent financial performance, cooperatives demonstrate good financial strength. The strengthening of the cooperative movement in the credit union sector is evident when comparing the financial data from 2011 to 2015,” he said.

As for membership growth, the regulator confirmed there were 880,179 credit union clients in 2011, up 9.7 percent to 966,274 as of Sept. 30.

“This year was one [in which growth] was most palpable, as there was an increase of 24,242 members, more than 2,000 each month, which represents an increase of 2.6 percent,” the government official said.

Credit union lending portfolios mostly constitute of: personal and consumer loans, which represent $2.1 billion, or 47 percent of the total; mortgage loans, which represent about $1.3 billion, or 28.4 percent of the financing granted; auto loans, with $612 million, or 13.1 percent of the loans; commercial loans, which total $202.8 million or 4.37 percent of loans; restructured loans with $137.9 million or 2.9 percent; and credit cards with $106 million. or 2.2 percent.

“We can conclude that the area of co-op lending enjoys a stable financial health, especially considering what happened with the island’s financial sectors,” Rodríguez-Collazo said. “The loan portfolio represents 53 percent of assets, which is proof of the solidity and liquidity the island’s credit unions enjoy.”

With more than $2.6 billion in liquidity, the loaning capacity Puerto Rico credit unions have “represents an important component of Puerto Rico’s financial system,” he said.

This year, total shares and deposits amounted to $8 billion, which represents a 10.1 percent increase when compared to 2011, when the figure reached $7.3 billion. Island co-ops have $2.6 billion in available capital, an increase of $177 million when compared with the $2.4 billion in 2011, COSSEC data shows.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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