As I write this note, I am reminded of the great power and opportunity we have as members of a financial cooperative.
Years ago, the credit union industry was created by average folks who felt that traditional banks were not always looking out for their best interests. People understood that while banks existed to create profits for their stockholders, credit unions were owned equally by all its members. Whether you had $5 or $5 million on deposit, everyone had one share and one equal voice in the running of the credit union.
Given this mission, credit unions needed to focus its efforts to help folks who otherwise could not be helped by the banks. Often, the greater risk taken to meet this goal resulted in reduced profitability, and sometimes, even losses. That was one of the reasons why credit unions were exempted from paying federal or state income taxes. By being able to keep more money in the credit union, the credit union could continue to serve more members, while still being able to generate income to fund operations and invest for the future.
As you know, Notre Dame FCU just completed a series of such investments. We are now better prepared than ever before to provide you with the best services available at the lowest possible cost. Free and improved online banking, free and improved bill pay, new and free remote deposit capture and free text alerts are all member enhancements resulting from these improvements.
These investments in our future also had a beneficial impact in our present. Efforts to improve our systems helped improve our operating efficiencies and reduce our costs. The result was a net income of $1.2 million, the highest profitability level since 2008.
We are especially pleased with the number of loans we were able to make to improve the lives of our members. In 2014, we made 2,063 car loans totaling $40.6 million and 333 first mortgages totaling $42.9 million. For second mortgages, we made 332 loans totaling $8.2 million, and 1,838 credit cards totaling $3.1 million. In addition, we opened over 4,200 new memberships!
In 2014, we awarded 8 scholarships for our members to attend college. We also conducted free financial literacy classes for our members, utilizing Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. Many of our members successfully passed the Financial Peace University course, enabling them to strengthen their personal financial condition and empowering them to take control of their financial futures.
So, as you can see, 2014 was quite a productive year for your credit union! Much was accomplished. With this foundation in place, the future does indeed look bright.
We are very blessed to have loyal members as the bedrock to our success. Thank you for your confidence and continued support. Please continue to utilize our services and to share your positive experiences with your friends.
Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2015!
Thomas J. Gryp, President/CEO
Class of ‘79