An increase in assets and return on average equity helped Central 1 Credit Union have a banner 2012 thanks to a strong return on its investment portfolio.
That’s according to the cooperative, which is the central financial facility and trade association for the 44 British Columbia and 97 Ontario credit unions in Canada. Central 1 serves the systems’ 3.2 million members and holds $86.2 billion in assets.
“The gains over last year were due largely to improved investment results and the reversal of unrealized losses from last year,” said Don Rolfe, president/CEO of Central 1, who announced on March 21 that he will step down on July 31.
“Overall, Central 1’s risk profile was reduced and we did an excellent job of generating a strong return on our investment portfolio even though markets remained in turmoil throughout the year.”
Central 1 said it continues to invest primarily in Government of Canada bonds, provincial government debt and senior Canadian bank debt.
Some of Central 1’s results for 2012 were $13.7 million compared to a profit of $15.4 million in 2011. Total assets at year-end were $14.2 billion, compared to $14.6 billion in 2011. Return on average equity was 9.6%, compared to 2.7% in 2011.
As a result, Central 1 said it declared dividends of $11.9 million to member shareholders in 2012, compared to $10.0 million in 2011.
Among British Columbia’s credit unions, assets totaled $57.2 billion in 2012 driven largely by commercial mortgages, which were up 13.7% to $11.7 billion and personal mortgages, up 6.7% to $33.1 billion, according to Central 1.
Asset growth for the Ontario system was $30.8 billion at year-end, up 14.9% year-over-year. The addition of two new credit unions – DUCA Financial Services Credit Union Ltd. and St. Stanislaus-St. Casimir's Polish Parishes Credit Union Ltd. – boosted system assets by approximately $1.7 billion, Central 1 said.
The strong financials come as Rolfe prepares to leave Central 1’s top post. He has served at the helm since 2008 and oversaw the combination of the credit union centrals of B.C. and Ontario, which resulted in the creation of Central 1 that same year. In 2010, in partnership with Co-operators Life Insurance Company, Central 1 also acquired The CUMIS Group Ltd.