Credit Union weathers challenges in 2018

The Weyburn Credit Union saw some turn-around in their financial numbers in 2018, in spite of challenges in the economy that caused those numbers to decline in the previous two fiscal years.

Members and staff heard the details of the past year at the annual meeting held on Wednesday evening in the Credit Union’s community room, along with the results of the election held for board directors.

article continues below

There were four nominees for three board positions, including incumbents Lynn Colquhoun, Britany Burnett, Duane Walkeden and new nominee Nancy Styles. After the voting period by members from March 27 to April 3, the three incumbents were re-elected to the board of directors.

“No year is without challenges, and this year was no exception with economic challenges, and the changes in taxation and governance,” said Lynn Colquhoun, chair of the board for the past year.

“We are proudest of the member growth results, as this is an indication that we remain relevant and competitive in retraining and attracting customers,” she added, noting the Credit Union also exceeded their target goal for profitability this year.

CEO Don Shumlich agreed, saying in his comments to the AGM, “2018 was a challenge, yet it was successful also.”

The Credit Union’s staff and board are constantly thinking about how to serve their customers better, he said. “We are constantly evolving how we grow. We’ve spent the last three years clarifying our strategic direction.”

Shumlich noted that the Credit Union achieved 10 of their 11 measures of performance, and said in this year of marking the Credit Union’s 75th anniversary, there are going to be celebratory events throughout the year to mark this milestone.

As of the end of 2018, the Weyburn Credit Union had 8,131 members and 866 non-members, with assets under administration of over $748 million, making this institution the eighth biggest Credit Union in the province.

One of the indicators of how well the Credit Union did this year was the deposit growth, increasing from $452 million in 2017 to $479 million in 2018, an increase of 5.82 per cent. Membership growth and new accounts accounted for $10 million of that growth last year.

Due to the financial challenges in recent years, the board of directors for the Credit Union had decided not to make a rebate and bonus payment to members, as they felt it was more prudent for the Credit Union to build up and solidify their capital levels.

In 2018, with the 75th anniversary coming up this year, the board allocated $609,825 to member patronage, which translated into a $75 gift to each fully-paid member shareholder to help celebrate the anniversary. A new long-term patronage program is being explored and developed for 2019 and beyond.

The other main indicator of the Credit Union’s financial picture is the loans portfolio and the growth experienced in this department.

Loans make up 82.77 per cent of total assets, totaling $443 million, which is an increase of 7.35 per cent over 2017 when loans totaled $413 million. The commercial sector of loans totaled over $20 million, and the agricultural sector accounted for $3.3 million. Residential mortgages comprised 33 per cent of the loan portfolio, or $145.5 million, of which 37.07 per cent are insured mortgages.

Retained earnings for the Credit Union totaled $45.4 million, up from $41.7 million last year, bringing total equity up from $45.7 million to $49.3 million this year.

Three of the board directors were recognized for their years of service to the Credit Union board. Jeff Richards was recognized for five years service, Norman Wall for 15 years, and Gary Beck for 20 years, since the Lang Credit Union amalgamated with Weyburn. Prior to the amalgamation, he was involved with the Lang Credit Union for almost 28 years.