'Very Rough Waters But We Are OK,' Says Calif. CEO
One of southern California's largest credit unions, Financial Partners of Downey, wants it known that not all is gloom and doom though it has been a bumpy ride.
"My message from one of the hardest hit areas of the country: We've all been whitewater rafters thrown about by uncontrollable waves but in these turbulent times we've learned how to succeed," said Nader Moghaddam, president/CEO.
Moghaddam made his comments as his CU completes a merger of the nearby $12 million Santa Fe Springs City Employees CU and touts some positive financial statistics for 2010 including big gains in its mortgage portfolio.
"Over the last nine months the credit union improved its fee and other non-interest income by 21%, currently standing at 1.64% of assets," Moghaddam said. "A key contributor was the successful development of the mortgage banking operations and in 2009 alone, Financial Partners originated over $240 million in first mortgages, while selling 94% to the secondary market and continuing in 2010 the momentum has carried forward."
Financial Partners anticipates the 2010 volume to top last year and in addition, "the investment advisory side of the credit union with over $150 million in assets under management has increased its year-over-year net income by 24%."
And while the last three years have been horrendous for California CUs, Moghaddam maintained that though "the river is flowing so violently that at times it seemed futile to try and steer the raft" CUs like his have managed to become creative in meeting the challenge.
In some cases, "we've had to recreate the organization," he said, but the end result is that Financial Partners has a higher than peer loan to share ratio at 81.7% and lower than peer delinquency and charge-off performance.
"With positive year-to-date income of $2.5 million as of September, our net worth currently at 7.90%has been stable and growing," he said.