Greetings, members! This past year was yet another reminder that Point West is a credit union on the move. We continue to make significant strides to strengthen our cooperative, while remaining laser-focused on providing our members the service and Financial Wellness that they deserve.
Net income exceeded forecasts for the year, with the credit union earning in excess of $500,000, a 28% increase over 2013. That, combined with maintaining low loan delinquencies, a nearly 1% reduction in our charge-off ratio as a percentage of total loans, and continuing to watch our operating expenses, created an opportunity to bring Point West’s net worth ratio over 7% using average assets for the first time since the credit union entered prompt corrective action to enter a net worth restoration plan, back in 2008.
Together with the board of directors, we spent 2014 building a strategic business plan to take Point West to the next level in the years to come. We recently received our Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certification from the US Treasury, allowing us to leverage their dedicated funds and community partners to reach our identified target markets, including minority and underserved communities as well as small, microenterprise businesses. We continue to build strategic partnerships with mission-aligned community organizations, including the Portland State University Business Outreach Program, Innovative Changes, Financial Beginnings and Mercy Corps Northwest. The possibilities are endless, and we look forward to continuing to build new partnerships and opportunities to better serve you and our larger community.
Serving you, our members, is still our number one priority. To that end, we’ve been making numerous improvements to our services as well as behind the scenes. We reintroduced lending to our members that utilize International Tax Identification Numbers (ITINs), bringing needed access to our underserved members. We introduced our Business VISA credit card program and revitalized our business loan program to better serve microenterprises in our community. And we brought Mobile Deposit to our Mobile Banking platform, allowing our members to deposit checks using nothing more than their smartphone whenever and wherever convenient. On the back end, we are ever-closer to bringing our members an all-new loan and account origination platform, which will provide incredible ease and increased access to loan decisioning for our members, while streamlining our internal loan and new account processes. We’re also improving our network infrastructure, increasing our bandwidth, building our business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities, and reworking our entire internal network infrastructure to reduce wait times and provide for lasting technological benefits. Not enough? We have good news… there’s much more to share with you.
Thanks to our partners at the Northwest Credit Union Association, Point West was able to get an unprecedented look at your credit union’s impact both directly to you, the members, but also our local community, working with the renowned and independent consultants at ECONorthwest. The results are incredibly impressive; in 2014, Point West returned $591,000 in direct benefits and $1,283,000 in total benefits to our members. Because you belong to a not-for-profit cooperative credit union, you receive the benefits, not stockholders. That’s real money in your pocket.
Additionally, for the 29 people directly employed here at Point West, each of those jobs indirectly supported additional jobs for workers in other sectors, for a total of 63 jobs. Combined with the benefits returned to you, all of this translates to a direct output of $4,574,000, and $9,818,000 in total support to our local economy. Together, we are making a big impact in our local community – congratulations to you all! Your support of our cooperative model is making a real difference.
Charitably, our team was once again very engaged in the community. In 2014, our staff volunteered over 878 hours of service and donated nearly $13,000 to over three dozen different organizations. We also raised $7,500 for Credit Unions for Kids, supporting Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
The year past was a good one, but in many ways, it simply set the stage for the amazing future Point West has in the coming years. To all of our staff, our volunteers, and you, our members, which we could not do any of this without, thank you. We look forward to prosperous 2015 with you all, and hope to build Financial Wellness with each and every one of you.
Amy Nelson, President/CEO