Altura Credit Union on Wednesday reported net income of $2.82 million on total assets of $1.279 billion for the quarter ending June 30.

The Riverside, Calif.-based CU said its net income for Q2 2017 is up 6.8 percent over the same quarter in 2016. Total assets are up 6.6 percent compared to $1.199 billion for second quarter last year.

Through June 30, Altura reported net income of $6.46 million, up 10 percent compared to the first six months of 2016. The CU said its net worth ratio was 10.64 percent as of June 30 (“well capitalized”).

Tommie Shryock, Altura’s chief financial officer, said loans have grown by 16.3 percent to a new total of $831 million, led by new auto loans of $78 million and new real estate loans of $22 million in the first half of 2017.

Continuing a trend that began in 2016, Altura said its membership growth remains “strong.”

“We are seeing about 1,000 new members a month,” Shryock said in a statement. Through June 30, some 6,421 new checking accounts have been opened this year, he added.

“Altura is pleased to report we have experienced strong revenue growth during the first six months of this year,” said Shryock. “Our revenue is about 7 percent above our projections. Additionally, our loan losses and need for loan loss provisions are less than we budgeted, reflecting improvements in loan quality, a primary source of Altura’s revenue.”

Non-interest income, another revenue source, is up 14.6 percent year over year, Shyrock reported.

Shryock said Altura’s loan growth has been “very good” this year, as its loan production is running about 11 percent higher than expectations for the first half of the year. “A good portion is in auto loans,” he said. “The Riverside economy has improved over the past few years and the boost in auto lending is a result.

“We are cautiously optimistic that this trend will continue through 2017,” Shyrock added.

Altura said it is reaching out to the millennial and Latino markets, which are large in the “Inland Empire” region of Southern California, east of Los Angeles. “We hope to establish relationships and demonstrate to these groups the advantages of credit union membership,” Shyrock said.

“Overall, there is a lot of excitement at Altura,” Shryock said. “Our new CEO Jennifer Binkley is generating a lot of good buzz internally, with our members and in the community. This transition has created a unique opportunity for all of us to contribute new ideas and processes that enrich our members’ lives and empower their financial dreams.”

As CU Journal has reported, Binkley took the helm from retiring CEO Mark Hawkins earlier this year.

Jennifer Binkley took over as president and CEO of Altura CU on Feb. 20, 2017.
Jennifer Binkley took over as president and CEO of Altura CU on Feb. 20, 2017.

Digging out
Altura CU, along with every other financial institution in the Inland Empire, suffered terrible losses during the recession due to widespread unemployment and plummeting home values. At the end of 2007 it had more than $1 billion in assets, but then lost $13.7 million in 2008, $20.1 million in 2009 and $5.8 million in 2010.

The turnaround began in 2011, when it reported net income of $8.4 million after $1.5 million in assessments. In 2012 Altura had net income of $17.4 million after paying $589,000 in assessments.

Altura said it had net income of $11.18 million in 2013 — making 2011-2013 the best three-year period in the credit union's history.

It had $11.6 million in net income for full year 2014, then net income of $5.95 million for 2015, followed by net income of $7.86 million in 2016.

Altura's net worth ratio was 8.13% at the end of 2007, but dipped to as low as 5.61% ("undercapitalized") in December 2009 before rebounding.

Originally founded in 1957 as the credit union for the school employees of the Riverside Unified School District, the credit union has undergone significant change and experienced substantial growth. In 1998, the credit union merged with Riverside County Federal Credit Union to become Riverside County’s Credit Union. In 2004, the credit union expanded its field of membership to include anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Riverside and San Diego counties, and certain cities in San Bernardino and Orange counties. Coinciding with that expansion, the credit union’s name was changed to Altura Credit Union. In 2015, Altura completed a strategic merger with Visterra Credit Union, another longtime credit union based in Riverside County.

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