Pacific NW Federal Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative existing to provide high quality products and services, which enable our membership to achieve financial health and independence.
We were founded in 1942 by a handful of Bonneville Power Administration employees, and have continued to grow by adding other federal agencies and select employee groups to our membership. In 1999 we merged with Hessell-TPC Credit Union, with Mountain Valley Federal Credit Union in 2000, then with Pacific Retailers Omni Federal Credit Union in 2001. In 2004, we added Hood River, Wasco, Skamania and Klickitat counties, as well as a community in NE Portland to our membership eligibility. Click here for membership eligibility.
With the current media coverage on troubled banks, you may be wondering if your accounts are secure at the credit union. The short answer is, yes!
Not only is our credit union sound and stable, every credit union in Oregon is federally insured by a fund that is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. The National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) insures accounts to $250,000 per account (with additional coverage of up to $250,000 for certain retirement accounts), just as the FDIC does for banks. For more information on federal share insurance click here.
We offer credit union services to over 300 federal agencies and select employee groups. We are a $127 million credit union with over 16,000 members, enjoying a full range of personal and business products and services. Our primary goal is to satisfy our members' financial needs with a high level of service, using three strategic objectives:
2012 was a year of recovery for Pacific NW Federal Credit Union. Every quarter resulted in positive net income and declining delinquency. During 2012, the credit union improved from "adequately capitalized" to "well capitalized" as measured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the regulatory agency responsible for overseeing credit unions. This was done through the efforts of the Board, management, and staff in containing expenses and improving new loan quality, while helping members in financial difficulties work through their payment challenges.
During 2012, we continued to experience low loan demand. Members continue to be cautious of adding new debt and have actually reduced their personal debt load. Average loan balances shrunk 9.2% over the course of the year, going from $8,900 to $8,200. This required us to keep dividends at record-low levels to balance deposits with loans.
2012 was also a year of regulatory challenges. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 added a significant regulatory burden to the financial industry. Credit Unions were praised as a positive sector of the financial industry, focused on helping their members through the Great Recession. Despite that, the credit union industry is also accountable to adhering to the thousands of pages of regulations that have been the result of the Dodd-Frank Act. PNWFCU has had to shift significant resources to the increased reporting and monitoring required of these new regulations.
2013 looks to be another interesting year with a continued weak economy and an increasingly complicated regulatory environment. Loan demand will continue to be one of our toughest challenges. Despite the lending challenges the board and management have determined that the credit union's return to profitability requires a return to members. Dividends on money market accounts were reestablished in March of 2013, along with an increase in certificate rates. Rates are still lower than in the past as the entire economy continues to keep returns down.
We look forward to continuing PNWFCU's recovery in 2013 and to be our members' Financial Partner for Life.
Paresh Patel, Ph. D., MBA
Chariman of the Board
Thomas E. Griffith, CMA
Chief Executive Officer