As FirstLook performance data continues to roll in from across the industry, early reports calculated from credit unions indicate solid results. According to preliminary results analyzed by Callahan & Associates, credit unions are posting record fourth quarter loan volume (loans originated). With strong momentum through the end of the year, 2011 looks to be the second-best year for loans originated ever, just behind 2009’s refi-fueled record.
Such industry success is evident in more than aggregate data, however. Altura Credit Union ($704M, Riverside, CA), the largest credit union in California’s Riverside County, posted a fourth quarter net income of $3.53 million, adding to the credit union’s building momentum of improved financials.
“Our net income for the most recent quarter marks the third straight period of strong net income,” said Mark Hawkins, CEO of Altura ($643.0 million, Riverside, CA), in a release. “After the economic turmoil of the past few years, 2011 was our best year since 2006.”
Altura posted a net income of $8.43 million in 2011. This is an improvement of more than $14 million over the credit union’s 2010 performance, for which Altura reported a loss of $5.8 million. Altura also ended 2011 with a Net Worth Ratio of 7.84%, which is more than a 200-basis-point improvement over its year-end 2010 Net Worth Ratio of 5.81%.
Annual member growth for FirstLook credit unions reached 2.3%. Likewise, membership is growing once again for Altura, whose member roster reached 95,990 at the end of 2011.
“2011 was the year in which we finally saw the marketplace begin to firm up,” Hawkins said. “Unemployment is settling down and foreclosures and delinquencies have eased substantially.”
Because of such improvements in the local marketplace, Altura reduced its Allowance for Loan Losses (ALL) from $35.6 million in 2010 to $30.8 million in 2011, a trend that is consistent with credit unions across the country. All in all, Altura welcomes the respite from the tough decisions required during an economic downturn.
“Over the past few years, Altura has had to adapt to a different marketplace,” Hawkins said, citing the need to close branches and reduce member conveniences. “Now, we are seeing the results of those decisions. Things are clearly beginning to stabilize, and we believe 2012 will be a year of continued improvement.”