Westminster Savings reports solid earnings in 2014

New Westminster, B.C. - March 26 - Westminster Savings Credit Union (Westminster Savings) today reported another year of strong financial results despite a challenging operating environment.

Total assets under management showed continued growth reaching $3.2 billion up 5.8% in 2014. Member deposits grew by 7.2% to $2.1 billion and loans and leases grew by 1.7% and 5.5% respectively. Although net interest income and other income were down $3.5 million compared to 2013, costs were carefully managed to deliver an overall bottom line of $8.1 million. This is down slightly from $8.5 million in 2013 which reflects a continued contraction in financial margin.

"Although 2014 was marked by continued low interest rates and heightened regulatory and competitive pressures, Westminster Savings was successful in achieving positive results overall," said Bill Brown, chair of the Board of Directors. "Beyond our strong business performance, key highlights for Westminster Savings in 2014 included celebrating our 70th anniversary and being identified as one of Canada's Best 50 Employers for the third consecutive year."

In 2014, Westminster Savings continued its commitment to using member feedback to enhance and expand its products and services to better meet members' needs. The credit union launched a package of banking products and services specifically designed for families. The Unlimited Family Plan allows busy families to share convenient and valuable banking features for one low price. In addition, the credit union expanded its wealth management and small business services with the introduction of additional investment specialists and small business banking relationship managers to our branch teams.

2014 also saw the credit union explore a potential merger with Prospera Credit Union. However, following in-depth analysis of the benefits, risks and costs of bringing the two credit unions together, earlier this year the boards of directors of both credit unions mutually agreed to cease merger discussions and pursue independent business strategies.

"We experienced another year of reasonably strong financial performance thanks to our ongoing focus of helping our members and customers Achieve better balance™, while working diligently to control costs in line with a declining margin. At the same time, we continued to invest in key areas of our business in order to provide value to our members, improve our services and ensure the long-term growth of the credit union," said President and CEO Gavin Toy. "In addition, we are very proud to have maintained our commitment towards our local communities by creating access to arts and active living programs and activities through our community investment program, Project Better Balance."

In 2014, through Project Better Balance, the Westminster Savings Foundation disbursed $296,000 in grants to local charities and the credit union directly donated $251,000 in various community sponsorships and activities. In 2014 the credit union also contributed a further $500,000 to the Westminster Savings Foundation bringing its total fund balance to $9.2 million and ensuring a reliable source of financial support for community investment activities going forward.

"We remain committed to engaging with our members in order to better understand and identify their needs so that we can continue to provide an exceptional customer experience for the next 70 years and beyond," says Gavin Toy. "Over the next month, we will be holding open houses in three of our locations. These events provide a great opportunity for our members to interact with our Board and Management teams and we encourage our members to attend to learn more about their credit union."

Copies of our 2014 corporate reports (Annual Report, Management Discussion and Analysis, Governance Report and the Westminster Savings Foundation Annual Report) can be found online at wscu.com.

New Westminster Branch Open House

100-601 Sixth Street, New Westminster
Wednesday, April 15
6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Maple Ridge Branch Open House

22415 Lougheed Highway, Maple Ridge
Tuesday, April 21
6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Newton Branch Open House

500-7488 King George Boulevard, Surrey
Wednesday, April 22
6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Annual General Meeting

Maple Ridge Arts Centre and Theatre (The ACT)
11944 Haney Place, Maple Ridge
Wednesday, September 23
Registration begins: 6:15 p.m.
Meeting begins: 7 p.m.

About Westminster Savings Credit Union

At $3.2 billion in assets under management, more than 55,000 members and 393 employees, Westminster Savings is amongst the largest credit unions in Canada. Known for its customer and community focus, people oriented culture, and sound financial and operating practices, Westminster Savings provides a full range of retail, commercial, leasing and wealth management solutions to meet its customers' evolving needs. In 2014, Westminster Savings was named as one of the Best 50 Employers in Canada for the third consecutive year in a study by a global human resources consulting firm, Aon Hewitt.

For more information, please contact:

Cathryn Tucker
Manager, Corporate and Internal Communications
604-519-4210
ctucker@wscu.com

 

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