It was a difficult bottom line for Northern Savings Credit Union to swallow.
But it has been a difficult year.
At its annual general meeting (AGM) last Wednesday, May 4, the credit union announced to members and staff at the B.C. Room in the Crest Hotel, a total loss of approximately $2.5 million for 2015, and no dividend declared for members.
Northern Savings’ consolidated total assets at the end of 2015 stood at $895 million, a decrease of 9.2 per cent of 2014’s $986 million, which was due to major restructuring and selling of assets. Deposit balances decreased $71.9 million from approximately $859 million to $788 million and operating expenses grew from approximately $24.5 million to $30.6 million.
In addition to selling assets in southern B.C., the credit union laid off 12 employees last October as a result of the lost revenue, making the total number of employees at the Prince Rupert-based head office 32 after the layoffs.
“These decisions were not easy to make and were not made without deliberation and analysis,” said board chair Flora D’Angelo.
“The reason for the major decisions was that the final financial results for 2015 did not meet required metrics to indicate financial stability.”
In addition to the layoffs, selling off of its technology subsidiary and reducing its mortgage portfolio in Victoria, exiting its southern B.C. wholesale lending and deposit business, Northern Savings experienced multiple transitions at the CEO position, with Ken Doleman at the helm from January to March and two interim CEOs, Sharon Stromdahl and Barry Delaney holding the position until the end of December. Most recently, Geoff Grodecki was chosen to lead the organization and holds the CEO position as of May 2, 2016.
“I feel very thrilled for the opportunity to be able to work with the team here at Northern Savings, where employees do some really great things,” said Grodecki at the meeting.
The CEO was previously chief executive officer of Macklin Credit Union in Macklin, SK and manager of lending at Midale Credit Union in Midale, SK.
The branches supported the corporate restructuring and the focus on strictly northern B.C. priorities and focus on the organization’s home communities, said D’Angelo.
“We did sense at membership meetings an understanding amongst the membership of what has occurred and it seems to have been beneficial to the credit union. At each of the [branch] meetings the message was the same: Our focus is our branches. Our focus is our core business and that’s what we want to go back to,” said D’Angelo.
The organization developed new vision and mission statements in 2015, celebrated 75 years of business and contributed $100,000 to community involvement programs.