Silver State Schools Credit Union loses $2.8 million in fourth quarter

Silver State Schools Credit Union, once the state’s largest credit union, lost $2.8 million in the fourth quarter, bringing its total net loss for 2011 to
$8.4 million.

The $2.8 million loss mirrored third-quarter results. In 2010, the Las Vegas-based credit union reported a net loss of $21.4 million.

On Friday, Silver State Schools said its private insurer, American Share Insurance, gave it another $4.4 million in capital assistance in December “after consideration of the steady progress made by the credit union over the past 12-18 months.”

ASI gave Silver State Schools $22 million in February.

“We look forward to continued improvement in 2012,” Silver State Schools Chief Executive Officer Andy Hunter said.

The struggling credit union lost its spot as Nevada’s largest last year. Silver State Schools, with $653 million in assets, was passed by One Nevada Credit Union’s $683 million in total assets.

The credit union continued to shrink its operations last year, decreasing the number of branches it operated from 21 to nine. In its latest round of closures, Silver State said in November it would close three of its 12 Las Vegas area branches.

Provision for loan losses continued to have a significant impact on earnings, the credit union said. The allowance for loan losses increased to $32 million, compared with $24.8 million in 2010.

“Although building reserves for loan losses has been a priority, we continue to report strong 3.72 percent net interest margin and our operating expenses decreased from $32.4 million in 2010 to $26 million in 2011,” said Hunter, who took over as CEO of Silver State Schools in July.

He replaced longtime Silver State Schools CEO Dave Rhamy.

Hunter said the numbers for 2011 are “signs of progress that should not be overlooked.”

Silver State Schools ended 2011 with $623 million in deposits and loans of
$542 million. Liquidity continues to remain strong and regulatory net worth stands at $27.3 million, he said.

Contact reporter Chris Sieroty at csieroty@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893.

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