GLENDALE, Calif.-At a time when a majority of credit unions are not growing at all, one CU has had to put its emphasis on controlling growth. Stuart Perlitsh, CEO of the $325-million Glendale Area Schools FCU, said his CU's business plan calls for moderate asset growth due to the interest rate environment.

"Our net worth exceeds 11%, and we do not want to see our net worth decline due to asset growth," said Perlitsch. "Net worth will never grow or keep pace with the speed of asset growth today-especially in a near zero interest rate environment."

Perlitsh emphasized how difficult growing net worth is in a world of 2% car loans and 3% home loans. "Especially after you get done paying for the 7.5% payraises so richly deserved at the NCUA, along with the continuing corporate assessments," he added.

Perlitsh emphasized that third quarter call reports show some 29% of credit unions reporting negative income. "I predict this will continue in 2013 because of the low interest rate environment. Credit unions with high operating expenses and nominal net worth can expect to remain negative in 2013."

The CEO outlined GASFCU's plans to maintain moderate asset growth:

* A dividend distribution that is not above market rate for the community.

* Continuing to maintain operating expenses at 50% less than peer.

* Not taking in sick credit unions via merger.

Maintaining in-house Check 21 and other Federal Reserve relationships due to the robust direct transactions, without having to maintain uninsured capital at a corporate credit union.

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