Jacksonville, Fla.-based Community First Credit Union Of Florida is reporting "strong deposit and loan growth for the fifth year in a row and a record $30 million in new local business loans” in 2017.

The $1.5 billion-asset credit union’s annual report, unveiled at its annual meeting on Thursday, revealed, among other things, that total deposits increased to nearly $1.3 billion, the highest in the institution’s history and 8 percent over the prior year. In addition, commercial banking deposits increased by more than 16 percent to nearly $60 million, while the credit union’s total loan portfolio grew to a record $1.026 billion. Commercial loan originations amounted to a record $30 million – a 25 percent increase over the previous year.

John Hirabayashi, CEO and president of Community First Credit Union, speaks at the CU's annual meeting. Foreground: Board chair William Permenter, board member Malinda Prudencio and board member Brenda Simmons-Hutchins. Additional board members on the other side.
John Hirabayashi, CEO and president of Community First Credit Union, speaks at the CU's annual meeting. Foreground: Board chair William Permenter, board member Malinda Prudencio and board member Brenda Simmons-Hutchins. Additional board members on the other side.


The credit union also said that it provided the largest commercial loan in its history – $4.7 million, to an area business.

Membership grew by 5 percent to more than 126,000 over the prior year.

With respect to Hurricane Irma, which devastated the area late last summer, the credit union noted that it lent more than $3.6 million in hurricane recovery loans to local residents. Moreover, to help with the recovery in the weeks following Hurricane Irma, the credit union forgave, suspended or refunded more than $250,000 in member fees, including those for non-credit union ATMs and overdrafts.

The credit union posted net income of about $13.3 million in 2017, down from about $15.8 million in the prior year.

“2017 was a year of growth as well as further investment in our members, branch network and community,” said John Hirabayashi, CEO and president of Community First. “By making significant investments in our branch network and technology, we are positioning the credit union to keep pace with consumers and business owners as their financial needs evolve.”

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