President's Blog

by Kerry Wahlen, President/CEO

2015 Goldenwest Highlights

January 28, 2016

Goldenwest Credit Union had a banner year in 2015 marked with substantial growth and notable achievements. Our charge to operate a fiscally-sound credit union is a stewardship we take most seriously. We are always looking ahead at the future needs of our membership. As such, we have made significant investments in our branch network, member support departments and technological development. We continue to invest in the credit union as we develop our employees. I consider myself fortunate to be surrounded by a talented team of professionals who strive to give our members their best efforts each day.

Financial Report
In 2015, total assets grew by more than $74 million to $1,127,833,276 with return on assets at 1.50% or $16.4 million in net income. Our capital ratio increased from 13.3% to 13.9%.

The credit union’s loan portfolio grew by $106.8 million, netting an overall 16.5% increase over the previous year. Our loan-to-deposit moved upward from 72.2% to 78.5%. I’m pleased to report that our aggressive growth did not have a negative impact to our bottom line as delinquency remained a low 0.40% and net charge-offs were 0.18%.

Branch Expansion
Early in the year we opened our second Goldenwest branch in St George. It’s been exciting to watch the credit union grow in southern Utah since we opened our first office there eight years ago.

In the fall, we celebrated the opening of a USU Credit Union branch inside Lee’s Marketplace in Logan. Many of our members in Cache Valley have expressed their appreciation for adding the convenience of a grocery store branch in the area.

In 2015, we announced plans to construct a USU Credit Union branch as part of a Utah State University Welcome Center on the Logan campus. Construction is more than half-way complete, with plans to open the building this spring.

In response to our current growth and in anticipation of future needs, Goldenwest refurbished a building in Washington Terrace for a new Operations Center. The 25,000 square-foot facility will become the primary workspace for up to 200 employees in credit union support departments including information technology, accounting, operations, facilities and call center services.

Giving Back to Members & Community
The Board of Directors declared the largest year-end bonus dividend in the history of the credit union. Members collectively earned more than $1.2 million in December 2015. Over the past 12 years, Goldenwest has returned $7,975,000 to members through the bonus dividend program.

Credit union members and employees increased community giving to various programs and charities throughout Utah last year. In addition to monetary contributions, many of our employees donated volunteer service hours for local schools, foundations and civic organizations.

New Technology
Goldenwest added several new technology offerings to members that provide convenience and security. Among the most popular technological advances introduced were Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay. Many of members are rapidly adopting mobile wallet technology as their preferred form of payment.

We launched many upgrades to our mobile app, including Card Controls that allow members to enable/disable Visa cards and set-up travel notifications. Touch ID login and adding bill payees were other well-liked enhancements to the mobile app last year.

In 2015, we began issuing Visa credit cards featuring EMV chips to better protect members against fraud. We intend to issue Visa debit cards with EMV chips beginning in the spring of this year.

2016 Outlook
The New Year is off to a fantastic start for the credit union. Together with our Board of Directors, we have put together a strategic plan that will ensure the credit union’s success in 2016 and beyond. I look forward to the future with optimism and resolve that the best is yet to come.

Congratulations to Shalie Reich in our Call Center who was named our employee of the month. Shalie coaches our call center representatives to help provide the highest levels of service to our members. Thanks for all you do, Shalie!

As always, I welcome your comments on my blog posts and invite you to follow me on Twitter @GoldenwestCUCEO.

Kerry H. Wahlen


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