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Cooperatively Speaking: Property Sale & What It Means For PWCU

Big news – we’re excited to announce that we have recently completed the sale of the Point West property, adding much-needed capital to our net worth and creating opportunities for expanded services to you, our valued members.

While we are all sad to say goodbye to our home here on NE 12th Avenue, the sale of the PWCU property is an incredible opportunity for Point West. We will be able to leverage and invest the proceeds of the sale into our membership and the long-term sustainability of Point West for years to come.

No doubt, you have questions! We’ve tried to answer the most pertinent ones here, but we understand that you may have additional questions or input you would like to provide. If so, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] or at 503.546.5000. Now, on to the questions:

Why is Point West selling its property?

The property has been an increased burden on Point West. Scheduled upkeep and unexpected repairs are complex and expensive. From an operational standpoint, the small, confined spaces of the credit union make communication between departments difficult, and transitions for members more cumbersome. We also don’t need as much space. The sale frees Point West members of a costly and aging asset, and turns those dollars into operating capital to better serve our membership and expand our services the community.

Why sell?

The board of directors instructed Point West’s management team to begin exploring the sale of the property in 2014, as a way to leverage an asset (the property) on behalf of the membership. The property was purchased almost 20 years ago, so the growth in value and our mission to serve under-banked communities to a greater degree makes the timing right.

So the sale is complete – does that mean the branch is closing soon?

Not at all! We will be in this building an additional 12-24 months, giving management and the board time to carefully plan. For now, we’re not going anywhere – and when we do have a plan, you can be sure that you, our members, will be the first to know and that our decision will incorporate your feedback.

What are the big benefits of the sale?

First and foremost, the sale of the property allows Point West to emerge as a financially-healthy credit union and that the credit union will leverage its improved financial position to enhance its current offerings while expanding services to its community. Examples include:

  • For the first time in years, the ability to explore additional branch locations opportunities for Point West.
  • Expanded access to capital for microenterprise businesses in the Portland Metro area.
  • Improved access and technology. Point West is expanding its electronic services to make access to accounts, loans and services easier and more accessible than ever before. We’ve already introduced our new loan application platform, and are currently working on our account platform. Once complete, members will be able to apply completely electronically, 24 hours a day, without ever having to set foot in a branch.
  • Expanded access to products and services for underserved and minority communities.
  • Expanded non-citizen lending and low-income vehicle lending.

 

Are you merging?

Nope! We’re not closing our doors…simply moving them. And that careful review is currently underway with management and our board of directors. We look forward to seeing and sharing our new digs with you!

With this infusion of capital, does this mean members should expect increased dividends on deposit accounts soon?

Rates for deposit accounts and loans are market-driven, so not necessarily. The funds from the sale of the property are first and foremost there to bring long-term stability and impact to Point West. Market rates remain low, and while we remain committed to providing competitive rates across the board, we must do so in a considerate way that doesn’t erode our net worth.

Our finance committee, which includes members of our volunteer board of directors, meets monthly to discuss rates and if/when is the right time to increase rates for loans or deposit accounts. Please know this remains a high priority for your credit union and a critical topic of discussion.

What if I want to give feedback/talk to someone?

We have three opportunities coming up, where we would greatly appreciate your member voice and feedback. After all, this is a cooperative!

  • Annual Member Survey: Every year, we publish an electronic survey to get your feedback. We will ask several questions about branching, and would like your input.
  • Annual Membership Meeting: Our Annual Meeting is April 19, 6-8 pm at Benson HS. Management will be onsite to provide an overview of activity to date and to have one-on-one conversations with members.
  • Member Listening Sessions in May & June: Our Member Listening Sessions were so successful this past October, we’re bringing them back this summer! Dates and times will be published in April, so you have plenty of time to reserve a Listening Session spot with our CEO.

 

As always, you can feel free to reach out to us at any time by contacting our Member Service team at [email protected] or at 503.546.5000.

We look forward to sharing and working with you in the coming years to continue to make Point West the best choice for Financial Wellness in the Portland metro area. Thank you for your membership!

Cooperatively,

Amy Nelson, President/CEO
Point West Credit Union

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