PASADENA, Calif. — Wescom Credit Union will close 11 branches, eliminate 100 operational positions and discontinue most Sunday branch hours as part of the $3.8 billion credit union’s strategy to weather Southern California’s economic struggles, said President/CEO Darren Williams.

Wescom’s financial problems showed up on its NCUA report back in the third quarter of 2007, when it first posted a negative return on assets. In the past 12 months, the country’s 12th largest credit union has lost $150 million in assets, posted a 2007 year-end net loss of nearly $35 million and is operating with a $10.9 million net loss so far this calendar year. The usual SoCal suspects now have fueled the losses: sinking home values, rising foreclosures, high fuel costs and lost jobs, which have resulted in increased delinquencies, charge-offs and bankruptcies.

However, second-quarter financials posted recently on the NCUA’s Web site ( showed some improvement. Wescom stabilized its net worth, seeing a slight rise to 7.29%, and reduced its net losses by more than half compared to first quarter’s losses. And, Wescom still continues to enjoy a robust net margin, which increased second quarter to 4.84% of average assets.

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