Community First reports record 2013 growth

SANTA ROSA -- Community First Credit Union on Tuesday reported record growth in 2013, including a 24 percent increase in net income from a previous record in 2011.

The 53-year-old institution said it earned $1.62 million in 2013. Assets increased 8 percent from 2012 to a new record of $162.6 million. Capital reserves also reached an all-time high of $13.7 million.

"We've come all the way back from the Great Recession, and then some," said Todd Sheffield, president and chief executive, in a statement.

The credit union said it plans to use earnings to add remote deposit of checks to its existing mobile banking platform in the first half of this year and wants to add two new ATMs -- a second in Guerneville and one in Napa.

Home-equity lines of credit last year totaled $9.6 million, up 53.3 percent. Auto loans increased 37.4 percent to $28.5 million. Total loans grew 7.6 percent over the year to $103.8 million.

"That loan growth, coupled with a 23 percent decline in loan losses, was the biggest contributor to our record net income and reserves, getting us to our strongest financial position ever," Mr. Scheffield said. Chargeoffs totaled $748,000 for the year.

The lender also highlighted checking-account growth of 13.9 percent and a 15.4 percent increase in ATM transactions.

There were 15,886 members at the end of 2013, up 1.7 percent from the prior year.

Community First has five branches and a loan office in Sonoma County, and established a branch in Napa County through the 2012 acquisition of the Queen of the Valley Hospital employee credit union, Health Care Professionals Credit Union.

The credit union received regulatory approval to offer membership to all Napa County residents in September and is currently exploring the potential to open a branch near downtown Napa, according to spokesman David Williams.

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