Northern Savings Credit Union (NSCU) had a prosperous year in 2013, increasing its earnings, assets and the amount given out in loans.
“2013 was a really successful year for the credit union, one that saw strategic realignment and solid business growth as we continue building a promising future in the Northwest region,” said Ken Doleman, president and chief executive officer of Northern Savings.
Last year, the financial institution had $2.58 million in earnings, up from $1.9 million in 2012. Aside from the year-to-year profits, the increase came from there being fewer unpaid loans in 2013. NSCU set aside $1 million to cover unpaid loans last year, with about half of that not being used. Additionally, NSCU sold an insurance agency on Vancouver Island and a piece of property in Prince Rupert.
Cash and cash equivalents were also up, with NSCU having $42,847,364 last year compared to $22,433,123 in 2012. The financial institution increased its cash and cash equivalents by not seeking more deposits as aggressively as it usually would, but instead loaning out some of its surplus funds for a higher return. This translated to a drop of more than $36 million in Northern Savings assets in 2012.
Despite successes, Doleman admitted there were some challenging changes in 2013 like heighten competition, margin compression and regulatory changes.
“Our staff and directors have not only met today’s challenges, but have also prepared the way for a brighter future,” Doleman said, adding NSCU works hard to be prepared as new projects come to fruition in the region.
“Our region is in the early stage of what is a significant growth cycle when we look at what’s on the plate. We need to be ready for that.”
Northern B.C.’s economic growth is shown in the number of loans NSCU gave out last year. In 2013 Northern Savings saw a 13.4 per cent increase in its total amount of loans, going from $674,900,035 in 2012 to $763,253,411 last year. Personal loans and mortgages were up by approximately11 per cent, with commercial loans growing by 19.5 per cent.
Although there was a boost in loans the company handed out last year, NSCU’s financial income was lower in 2013 at $30,596,134 compared to2012’s $31,679,024 income.
The acquisition of Key West on Haida Gwaii and other purchases by the company’s IT department meant there was an increase in operating expenses last year of about $2.6 million.