Clark County Credit Union chief foresees rise in income, net worth


Wayne Tew, president of Clark County Credit Union, expects 2013 to be the first year in the last six in which the credit union’s business returns to normal.

But what’s normal these days in Southern Nevada? Tew said normal is net income returning to 2007 levels with net worth levels above 10 percent.

“Next year you may see us become a little more aggressive, which we have not done in a few years,” Tew told the Las Vegas Business Press.

Tew described the credit union’s last five years as “ugly.” He was forced to close two branches and lay off 30 employees.

“Of those branches we closed, as life has turned around over the last two years, we brought back most of the people to fill most of our openings,” Tew said.

Today, Clark County Credit Union has assets of $496 million, four branches and 33,000 members. The Las Vegas-based credit union reported net income of $2.3 million in the second quarter.

“What we don’t know yet is what will happen with real estate,” Tew said.

He said the credit union is offering a second chance program to homeowners who lost their homes to short sales or foreclosure. Tew said the program has been “pretty successful.”

Tew said demand for commercial real estate loans has been “very quiet and low key.” He described the credit union’s loan portfolio as “pretty balanced.”

“I think we are in a pretty strong position,” Tew said. “What’s interesting is the property we foreclosed and, by necessity, got rid off, if we could have held them, those properties now would have made us a lot of money.”

Tew said looking back it would have been nice to hold on to the real estate, but it was impossible from a regulatory aspect. He said delinquency is now down and loan growth is up for the first time in six years.

“I would say starting in 2008, we would have never anticipated how ugly it would get,” he said. “You think, OK, it will be a bad year, but it just got worse and worse. Then 2009, 2010 and 2011 were ugly, downright brutal.”

The credit union is even marketing itself.

“We are doing more with digital,” Tew said. “We are experimenting with LinkedIn and Facebook. We have a Twitter page. We are going more with email to reach our members.”

Tew said digital media was effective and less expensive than mass media.

“We’ve always had a problem with mass media because we are not open to everyone in the world,” he said. “We want to be as efficient as we can while keeping our costs down as much as we can and still provide great services.”

NEWS & NOTES

Credit unions nationwide posted strong growth patterns during the first half of 2013, according to the National Credit Union Administration’s U.S. Map Review.

The report shows specific strengths among federally insured credit unions on a state-by-state basis in areas of membership and loan growth to positive net income share and great returns on average assets.

During the first half of 2013, credit unions in Nevada ranked fifth with a 112 basis-point rise in annualized return on average assets. Nationwide, the average gain was 85 basis points, the report found.

In other categories, the results were mixed for Nevada credit unions. They ranked 16th at 82 percent in terms of share of credit unions with positive net income, while Nevada at 2.1 percent in delinquency rates was second to the Virgin Islands 2.5 percent.

Nevada (1.6 percent) had the highest annualized net charge-off rates in the country during the first half of the year, according to the NCUA’s report. Nevada was the only state or territory to post declines in total assets (-1.7 percent) and shares and deposits (-2.2 percent) during that time.

Loans declined 7 percent in Nevada, compared with the 5.5 percent average decline nationwide, while membership declined in 11 states led by Nevada’s 4.5 percent decline.

Umpqua Holdings Corp., the parent of Umpqua Bank, agreed to pay about $2 billion in stock and cash to buy Sterling Financial Corp., the parent of Sterling Savings Bank, backed by Warburg Pincus LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners L.P.

Sterling shareholders will receive 1.671 shares of Umpqua stock and $2.18 in cash for each of their shares, the companies said in a statement. The combined companies will have approximately $22 billion in assets, $15 billion in loans and $16 billion in deposits.

“With our size, shared cultures and financial strength, our combined organization will be uniquely positioned to deliver value for our associates, customers, communities and shareholders,” said Ray Davis, president and CEO of Umpqua Holdings Corp.

The merger creates a community bank with 394 locations in five states — Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and California — and 5,000 employees. Umpqua operates four branches in Reno and Incline Village, but none in Southern Nevada.

The Nevada and California Credit Union Leagues are partnering with Digital Benefit Advisors to offer a Web-based private benefits marketplace to help credit unions manage their employee benefits.

Digital Benefits Marketplace will be offered through the leagues’ benefits solution site, CUVitality Marketplace.

Launched in June by Digital Benefit Advisors, DBM is an online storefront that lists a range of health, life, disability, accident, critical illness, long-term care, dental and vision insurance plans from multiple insurance carriers.

The Web-based exchange also operates a call center with licensed customer advocates to guide individuals through the selection process.

The private exchange will open Oct. 1 for insurance plans that will become effective Jan. 1, under the Affordable Care Act.

Patrick Gehring has been named chief financial officer of Town & Country Bank. Gehring, a captain in the U.S. Army reserves with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, previously was controller at Olympia Federal Savings in Olympia, Wash.

 

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