Northern Savings Credit Union finished last year with $57 million less in cash and cash equivalents and lower net earnings than 2011.
However, the drop from $79.32 million to $22.43 million was part of a business review that determined the institution had way more money on hand than was needed due to commercial and wholesale deposits from operations outside of the northwest.
“In manufacturing terms, you have inventory that you use to create something. We have deposits, and we use those deposits to manufacture loans… If we have too much inventory on hand, then we face additional expenses because of that,” explained president and CEO Ken Doleman, noting that wholesale deposits were flat during the year while member deposits were up.
“Our retail branches saw growth in deposits of 8.5 per cent and that is very exciting. It is a good harbinger of things to come.”
The credit union also saw loans increase year-over-year by 2.73 per cent, jumping from $656,981 to $674,900. While the majority of that comes from mortgage and investment operations, Doleman said that sector was flat last year while retail loans grew.
In terms of capital and member equity, Northern Savings increased from $36 million last year to $38 million. Doleman said that was a good sign given the current environment.
“We’re on the cusp of a number of exciting things…. That being said, in 2012 we did experience slow economic recovery that is starting to pick up as we enter 2013,” he said, noting the global economy is still recovering from bottoming out in 2010.
“Our net earnings were $1.9 million in 2012. Given the economic environment, the size of the organization and the compressed interest rates, it was a very solid performance in 2012… We are in a strong and stable capital position going forward with room for growth in the northwest.”
As well as hiring Doleman, 2012 saw the credit union introduce online banking for small business and a fee-free chequing account for students. In 2013, the credit union will be developing a five-year strategic plan and re-envisioning the Prince Rupert head office and branch.
In 2012, Northern Savings Credit Union donated $191,406 to community groups in the region and staff volunteered 800 hours of service.