RCU: 2012 was 'best year' in 63-year history

SANTA ROSA -- Citing marked improvements in the financial footing of its members, Redwood Credit Union reported increases in portfolio quality, lending, equity, total membership and a number of other measures during 2012.

Those year-end metrics, reported to Redwood Credit Union's chief regulator, the National Credit Union Association, follow what President and CEO Brett Martinez said was a concerted effort to boost services and advising for both individuals and businesses that ramped up during the worst of the recession.

[caption id="attachment_68579" align="alignleft" width="142"] Brett Martinez[/caption]

"We had our best year last year in our 63 years of service, after the worst recession in the history of the United States," Mr. Martinez said. "We are stronger than we've ever been, with the least amount of risk we've ever had."

The largest credit union in the North Bay and the 65th-largest in the nation, Redwood Credit Union reported $2.1 billion in assets at the end up 2012. Total assets had grown 9.3 percent over the year, and membership, now exceeding 224,000, grew 6.4 percent.

Helped by a lower loss provision and activity in non-lending services like investment planning, net income for the year rose 80.5 percent, to $33.7 million. The credit union reported total equity of $184.8 million at the end of 2012, up 20.8 percent and representing approximately 8.8 percent of total assets.

Total loans, now valued at $1.46 billion, grew 3.9 percent compared to the end of 2011. The total number of loans made during the year increased by 1.4 percent compared to 2011.

The number of business loans increased at a faster rate, rising by 9.5 percent compared to 2011 and totaling 795 the end of 2012. While the overall value of loans in the business portfolio, $180 million, had declined by 3.6 percent, Mr. Martinez said that the lender was not necessarily pursuing the kind of large loans that could boost that dollar amount and that its core target of businesses under $5 million in assets was on stronger footing in 2012.

"You don't just underwrite and walk away. We talk to our businesses all the time -- businesses are stronger," he said.

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