(This column was written in mid-December. However, performance data is as of November 30th. Performance is not expected to change substantially through the end of the year, and as such reflects an overall expected performance for WPCU in 2011.)
Wright-Patt Credit Union, as a not-for-profit financial cooperative, measures its success not on profitability but on value returned to key stakeholders each year. WPCU’s stakeholders include members, WPCU employees, and the credit union itself.
I’m pleased to provide to you this (nearly) year-end report of value provided by the WPCU cooperative in 2011. The year was highlighted by a $5 million payout of excess earnings to members (to be paid in January, 2012), significant growth in loan balances (and related interest savings to borrowers), growth in deposit balances, growth in membership, and growth in employment. All are good proxy measurements of a growing, thriving credit union working hard to serve the best interests of members.
Highlights for 2011 include:
- Loans to Members: WPCU originated $631,393,469 in new loans through November 30th. New first mortgage loan originations were $276,055,826, new vehicle loans were $278.4 million, new student loans were $8,718,121, and new credit card limits of $18.8 million.
- Loan Savings: WPCU estimates it helped members save more than $20 million in loan and interest payments in 2011 by refinancing existing loans from higher interest rates to lower rates through their credit union.
- Deposits: Total deposits increased by $243.9 million from November 2010 to November 2011. This includes growth in free checking accounts, money market accounts, health savings accounts, and certificates of deposit.
- Membership: The credit union added 27,626 new members through November 30th. Total membership now stands at 217,085.
- Employment: WPCU employs a total of 486 full-time equivalent employees, an increase of 45 employees from January 1st.
- Member Centers: The credit union opened the Wright-Dunbar Member Center at 1137 W. Third Street, Dayton in July 2011. The Mad River Station Member Center was moved to larger quarters in February, and renamed the Mad River Member Center.
- Excess Earnings Returned: WPCU will return just over $5 million in excess earnings to members for their use of credit union products and services in 2011. Payments to individual members are determined by the number of products and services used and average loan and deposit balances held in the cooperative during the year.
- Non-Member Earnings: WPCU’s wholly-owned mortgage loan processing business, which processes loans for non-WPCU mortgage originators, earned more than $6 million in revenue, which supplemented earnings from WPCU operations and increased funds available to deliver value to credit union members.
- Financial Health: WPCU’s capital ratio – the most important measure of financial stability, was 10.38% at the end of November. This ratio is slightly lower than at the beginning of the year due to robust growth in deposits and assets and the payout of excess earnings via the patronage dividend. It is still substantially higher than 7.0%, the level required for a credit union to be considered “well capitalized” by state and federal regulators.
- Employee Bonuses: Employees were rewarded for their hard work on behalf of members with a performance bonus for 2011. This keeps with our philosophy that if members succeed with their credit union (as evidenced by the $5 million payout), employees, as equal stakeholders, should also succeed through a performance bonus.
And now, we start measuring ourselves all over again. Net earnings will reset to $0.00 on January 1st, as will growth in loans, deposits, and members. We will operate the credit union to the best of our ability to create new value for stakeholders in 2012.
Members will tell us how we’re doing all year long, through their choices of where to go for the financial services they need. The more members choose Wright-Patt, the more value we will be able to deliver. And if member usage of the cooperative is high enough, the opportunity for paying excess earnings to members may once again become a reality.
There are no guarantees, of course. A lot can happen during a year. Still, it is our goal – our pledge to members – that we will always operate Wright-Patt Credit Union with the best interests of the people we serve in mind. That’s the beauty of the cooperative system – no investors demanding a return on their investment, just hardworking people who want to make the most of their money.
On behalf of our terrific employees, it has been a pleasure serving you in 2011. We thank you for your trust, and we look forward to a prosperous new year for your family and ours.
Thanks for your business.
Douglas A. Fecher
President & CEO
Wright-Patt Credit Union, Inc.