Madison, WI – April 11, 2022 – Madison-based UW Credit Union reached $5 billion in assets for the first time this past Friday, a significant milestone in its 90-year history and a testament to the credit union’s consumer-centric mission.
Today, UW Credit Union serves nearly 315,00 members, representing a 30 percent increase from 2017. This growth rate is among the highest of Wisconsin-based credit unions. While the Wisconsin lender has been climbing national credit union rankings for the past decade, its accelerated growth compounded during the pandemic. During this time, mortgage lending reached all-time highs as historic drops in interest rates prompted more members to either refinance their current home or pursue new home ownership. In 2021, UW Credit Union’s mortgage lending funded $2.1 billion, exceeding $2 billion for the second year in a row.
Low fees continue to make UW Credit Union a popular checking account choice for Wisconsin residents. The credit union welcomed nearly 11,000 additional checking accounts since dropping their overdraft fees from $30 to $5 last July. In total, UW Credit Union served more than 240,000 checking accounts in 2021, putting it in the 99th percentile among all credit unions nationwide. It currently serves as the primary financial (i.e., checking) account for more than 70 percent of its member base.
“Reaching $5 billion in assets is an important milestone, not just because it signifies our growth as a top lender but because it underscores our mission of putting people before profit,” said UW Credit Union President & CEO Paul Kundert. “When we reflect on the fact that it took 76 years to reach $1 billion in assets and less than one year to climb from the $4 billion to the $5 billion mark, we recognize that it has been a steady journey of balanced choices in the face of tough challenges. As always, we remain committed to paying earnings forward to our members and our local communities.”
Kundert recently testified for the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions hearing: “The End of Overdraft Fees? Examining the Movement to Eliminate the Fees Costing Consumers Billions.” As the only financial institution representative included on the panel, Kundert’s testimony advocated for fair, equitable overdraft fees and practices.
Recent policy changes support the credit union’s evolving member base and nationwide shifts. Millennials currently comprise the bulk of UW Credit Union member households at nearly 60 percent, with its Gen Z member percentile recently climbing closer to 7 percent.
For more information, the credit union’s 2021 Annual report is available here: https://www.uwcu.org/media/3069/brnd21076_prt_2021-annual-report_web.pdf