A Message from the President
January 1, 2023
As we close out another year, I want to once again reflect on what we have accomplished together. The credit union grew by over $1 billion in assets, having crossed $7 billion in March and more recently, $8 billion in October. This growth is made possible by the over 1,000 dedicated Team Members serving you, our 580,000 members over our 300-mile footprint in 66 facilities. Thank you for continuing to trust in us for all of your financial service needs.
Even though the economy is different from anything we have seen, we delivered an unprecedented number of auto loans to our members in 2022, granting more than 79,000 loans, totaling $2.9 billion. This represents twice as much funding as what we did in 2021. As you can imagine, this created many challenges for our Team Members who were asked to respond to the unexpected volume. In ONE SCCU fashion, they rose to the challenge and delivered loans to our members.
We have also seen tremendous membership growth, welcoming more than 55,000 members to the SCCU family. Many members joined while financing their new car at one of our dealer partners. If you are someone who joined this way, be sure to check out all we have to offer. We have great products and services backed by great Team Members.
We grew our branch footprint in 2022, adding two full-service branches in both Boca Raton and Daytona Beach. Branches are an important part of the way we deliver service to you. We will continue to open new locations and upgrade existing branches with services such as drive-thrus for your added convenience. On the digital side, we added Zelle® to our online offerings and launched the project for the next generation of online and mobile banking. Our member ratings are at their highest level in our history, closing out the year at 4.78 out of 5 stars. All Team Members here at SCCU take great pride in this accomplishment.
We have continued to focus on making SCCU a great place to work, enhancing Team Member benefits and improving work facilities. It is important to the Leadership Team that our Team Members want to come to work every day and provide great service to you, our members. We want them to enjoy coming to work here and never leave because why would they go anywhere else?
We increased our giveback to our service-area communities, participating in a United Way fundraiser again this year. This was by far our best campaign, exceeding all expectations internally and beating last year’s donation amount. Our campaign is currently #3 in our home county of Brevard, but all funds raised by Team Members go back to the counties in which they live. We also partner with Junior Achievement and supported a “JA in a Day” at a local elementary school, with over 60 Team Members spending the day improving the financial literacy of an entire elementary school. Additionally, we gave more than $61,500 to support hurricane relief efforts. Part of this amount came directly from Team Members, as well as from members who donated at our branches.
2022 was not without its challenges. The economy that we are navigating is unlike anything we have seen. Inflation has a big impact on our members, not only with the cost of everyday items, but also in the cost of getting a loan. While we aim to keep our rates as low as possible, rising rates force us to raise our deposit rates, and in turn, loan rates rise as well. This will make some loans unaffordable to our members, which is the difficult part of our business. We are very mindful of this as we drive the credit union through uncharted territory.
Our upcoming challenge is the preparation for hitting $10 billion in assets, which brings additional regulatory oversight as well as limitations on earnings due to the Durbin Amendment (feel free to research that). I can tell you we are well into our preparations and will be ready when the time comes. We have contracted with outside help to make sure everything is in order for this milestone.
I would be remiss if I did not talk about the financial side of the credit union. We continue to perform extremely well with net earnings at $71.7 million, which is above the industry average. Our operating expense ratio is around 57.79%, which is well below the industry average. Our net worth is holding above 10%, which is well above the 7% regulatory minimum. Rest assured that your credit union continues to perform well.
On behalf of our 1,000 Team Members, Executive Management Team, Board of Directors and volunteers, I wish you a safe and healthy new year.