Net income at Altura Credit Union is up by nearly 10 percent during the first three quarters of 2017, the credit union announced Monday.

The Riverside, Calif.-based CU said its net income through the first three quarters of 2017 was $8.091 million, an increase of 9.9 percent compared to the same period in 2016. Total assets increased 4.8 percent over the comparable period.

Altura reported its net worth ratio was 10.7 percent (“well capitalized”), up from 10.62 percent during the same period last year.

“Altura has experienced substantial revenue growth through the first nine months of 2017,” Jennifer Binkley, Altura’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “In particular, our year-over-year loan growth is very strong with our total loan balances increasing by 15.19 percent. While auto loans continue to be a mainstay of our loan business, during 2017 we focused on offering our members more options for mortgage loans. We also introduced our Uphora Rewards Credit Card, something our members told us they wanted.”

Jennifer Binkley, president and CEO of Altura Credit Union
Jennifer Binkley, president and CEO of Altura Credit Union

Continuing a trend that began in 2016, Altura said its membership growth remains “strong.” Binkley said the CU has been successful in targeting millennials.

“We created an internal marketing team of our own millennial-age employees to help us develop outreach campaigns to these potential members,” she explained. “The results have been incredibly successful. We are 127 percent over our 2017 target for new members in this age group.”

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

Digging Out

Altura CU, along with every other financial institution in the Inland Empire, east of Los Angeles, 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.

Today, Altura Credit Union serves more than 120,727 members via 13 branches in Riverside County.

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