Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful 2013 and you’re all ready for 2014! I’m excited about what we have in store for our members in 2014, but before I tell you about our plans, I want to re-cap what we did for you in 2013 to maximize your member benefit.
2013 was a record year for the credit union in many areas! Our net income was $2.6 million even with economic challenges, NCUA assessments, and the overall dismal job growth in the state of Connecticut. We welcomed over 4,300 new members to our family, and as of the end of the year, our total membership was at a record high of 33,000 members. Our loan portfolio grew by about 5% to just over $249 million and deposits grew by a modest 2% to $307 million even with interest rates at historically low levels. Our loan portfolio continues to grow as we focus on being the premier auto loan lender in the state, adding business loans to our portfolio and continuing to be a leader in real estate lending. Our core deposit growth (checking and savings products) continues to show impressive growth at over 5% as we aggressively marketed our “More Than Free Checking” account to those individuals who bank with the “big” financial institutions like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Webster. This checking account is free and offers cash back rewards when members have direct deposit, an electronic statement and make 15 debit transactions a month. We remain one of the strongest credit unions in the state of Connecticut if not in the country with our capital ratio standing at about 13%. This number signifies our financial strength and is well above the minimum required 7%.
With our focus being on convenience and experience for our members, in 2013, we added two new branch locations – one in the Cromwell Walmart and the other in the Bristol Walmart Neighborhood Market, totaling 9 branch locations throughout the area. We also added 9 new FREE ATMs bringing our personal ATM network to 21. This is in addition to over 40,000 FREE ATMs we offer throughout the United States through our partnership with the SUM and CO-OP networks. Another convenience was the addition of instant issue debit cards. All 9 of our branch locations can now instantly issue a new debit card or replace a lost or stolen card while you wait. Our loan process has also never been easier. If you can’t make it to a branch to get a loan, you can apply for a loan online or call our Contact Center. Once we process the application, we will send the loan documents to your e-mail address for an electronic signature. After that, the money is placed into your Nutmeg account – it’s as simple as that!
Technology is important to our future and will allow us to provide you with quick and easy access to your account information in a safe and secure manner. Additionally, our goal is to have redundant systems in place in case of a natural disaster or an unexpected failure of essential IT equipment. With our combined investments in this area in 2013 and planned investments in 2014, we will be in a place to have a strong network that provides you with the reliability and speed you expect. Additionally, in 2014, we are planning a major upgrade and overhaul to our Mobile Banking app and online banking portal. We are leveraging technology to deliver tangible solutions that we are confident you will use over and over again. We want it to become an integral part of how you manage your financial life.
We will also persist in providing exceptional service at every point of interaction. I say it over and over again, but member service is and will always be a top priority. In fact, I am so passionate about this that you now have the ability to e-mail me directly if an issue isn’t resolved to your satisfaction. My e-mail address is posted on our Web site within my CEO Corner. We continue to seek your feedback on how we are doing, and use a mystery shopper program that evaluates how our frontline staff interacts with you; some of our members are even involved with this program! In 2014, we will send you more frequent membership questionnaires to gauge your level of satisfaction. I encourage you to provide your feedback to us whether positive or negative.
I would like to thank the employees and our Board of Directors for their hard work and dedication. More importantly, I would like to thank you for your continued support and trust in us. Nutmeg had a busy 2013 and we have an even busier 2014.
Thank you for banking with us!
President and CEO