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Annual Report 2016

In many ways, 2016 was a typical year for SLFCU — one of financial strength, new products and options for members, and upgrades that improved the security of your finances. But as the year drew to a close, the Credit Union made two large and noteworthy announcements: the return to members of a $10 million special dividend and the intent to merge with Kirtland Federal Credit Union.

Each step forward – from the opening of a new Edgewood branch to the addition of EMV chips to debit and credit cards – was taken with one goal in mind: increasing the value of SLFCU membership.

“SLFCU is the model of strength in the credit union industry,” says President/CEO Robert Chavez. “We’re the credit union of choice, what other credit unions are striving to be. But that doesn’t mean we’re satisfied; we aim to be even more.”

In the 2016 Annual Report, Chavez and Board Chairperson Tazmin Ralph discuss how SLFCU continues to add value to our members’ financial lives.

Special Dividend Added to Accounts

Tazmin Ralph, Board Chairperson: Tazmin Ralph, Board Chairperson: For nearly 10 years we have been conservatively preserving capital due to the slow economy. In 2016 the economy seemed to have finally turned a corner, and the Board wanted to give something back to the members. Since 2007, the low rate environment has greatly benefited borrowers while penalizing savers. Although SLFCU’s share savings rates have always been competitive in the marketplace, the economic environment has prevented us from paying the higher dividends of previous years.

SLFCU continued to perform well during the economic downturn. We managed revenue and credit quality challenges well and tightly controlled expenses, building our capital reserves to 11.24%. Seven percent is considered well-capitalized; the Board target is 10.50%. After awarding the special dividend, SLFCU’s reserves were just under 11.00%.

Robert Chavez, President/CEO: SLFCU last paid a special dividend in the amount of $3 million in 2007. It had been a long time, and the Board and SLFCU staff were excited to be able to give back to our members.

Why didn’t we just raise SLFCU’s dividend rates? Because the Credit Union doesn’t need to attract more deposits. With a loan-to-share ratio of 56%, SLFCU has been focused on increasing loans, rather than deposits, for more than a decade.

The response has been wonderful – we’ve received so many positive comments and notes of appreciation. When a credit union does well, its members do well, and we’re proud to give back to our members.

Read the full report (PDF), or pick one up at any branch beginning February 17.