SAN DIEGO-The pinch of the recession was barely felt at $5.7-billion San Diego County Credit Union, which has followed a small loss in 2008 with four straight years of solid income-with more expected in 2013.

CEO Teresa Halleck told Credit Union Journal that while San Diego remains a fiercely competitive market (See "Storming The Beaches, And The Rest of the County, Too," Credit Union Journal June 18, 2012), she sees conditions as being favorable going forward.

"While the likely effects of the Fiscal Cliff remain uncertain at this time, we anticipate continued economic stability in 2013 fueled by low interest rates, positive employment trends and improving local area home values," she said. "Consumers are likely to continue to seek convenience and value in financial services, making credit unions such as SDCCU a viable choice for those seeking a big bank alternative."

According to Halleck, SDCCU's "strong local brand," which includes title sponsorship of a college football bowl game played each December, along with its reputation for "proven service" provide it with a "great platform upon which to continue to further improve our market convenience so consumers can get the financial services they need any where, any way and any time."

San Diego County CU will continue to be "highly focused" on its member service and "prudent" growth in the markets it serves, Halleck continued. She said management continues to seek opportunities to improve service to members and to ensure the CU provides a "seamless banking experience" across multiple channels.


2013 Initiatives

Specific 2013 initiatives named by Halleck include:

* Upgrading the online banking platform to provide increased functionality for members.

* Continued expansion of the branch and ATM networks for increased convenience.

* "Breakthrough" branding and advertising to continue to drive strong member growth.

* A proactive review of internal processes to drive further efficiencies.

* Outreach to key peers and partners to foster "mutually beneficial collaboration."

* Continued focus on core deposit accounts and prudent consumer and business lending initiatives.

In its most recent Call Report, SDCCU reported net income for Jan. 1 through Sept. 30, 2012 was $65.1 million, excluding a $4.4-million Corporate Stabilization fund assessment.

In 2011 it reported $76.9 million in net income, excluding a $10.7-million Corporate assessment. In 2010 it earned $66.9 million, excluding $10.7 million in total assessments. In 2009 it had $62.1 million in net income. In 2008 it reported a loss of $14 million.

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