President’s Message

The President’s Report - 2022

To Our Members,

Thank you for your membership and business at Access Community Credit Union.  Thank you for your continued trust in Access.  I’m grateful also for the leadership of our dedicated team. We strive daily to help families, businesses, and our community achieve financial security.  The precious gifts of time and relationships are perhaps more in focus than ever before- may we be steadfast and wise in redeeming both!  Personally, I believe that we were born for just such a time as this.  Victory is ours, but we must continually choose to walk it out in solutions to daily problems and opportunities to love one another.  Hang tough and keep plowing forward!  Now, to the year of 2022.

Economically speaking, 2022 was marked by two things- inflation & interest rates.  During 2021, the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) insisted that inflationary trends were transitory.  The FOMC left fed-funds rates unchanged from the 150 basis-points reduction utilized at the beginning of the pandemic.  As we ended 2021 with nearly 7% inflation the ‘transitory’ language faded, but the inflation had not.  February 2022 consumer prices rose 7.9% from the prior year, the fastest pace since 1982 (Labor Dept).  This combined with the geo-political environment made for an extremely bleak overall outlook that has persisted until spring of 2023 (time of writing).  The yield curve remains inverted (short term government treasury rates are higher than long term rates).  In hindsight, it appears that the Fed should have been slowing asset purchases and raising rates much sooner (perhaps in late 2020/early 2021).  Instead, additional government stimulus continued to be pumped into the economy. 

Last year I posed the question- ‘Can rates ever really return to normal?  What exactly is normal?’ After nearly two decades of what most would call near zero fed funds (even though it did come back up slightly (topping out at 2.25-2.5%) between late 2015 and July 2019 (St. Louis FRB)).  Since March of last year, the fed has increased rates over 4.5%, faster than any time since the early 1980s.    The rate increases are a welcome sight for many deposit holders, however, the impact to slow spending, investment and asset prices haven’t caught up just yet.  As of writing this in early March, PCE-(personal consumption expenditures) price index remains stubborn along with other data.  This means that rates will likely continue to rise throughout 2023 and possibly level off in 2024.  Another year and again, I pose the question what’s normal?  Perhaps we’ll find out next year!    

I’m proud to report that your credit union continued to do well during 2022.  The credit union originated approximately $97 million in gross loans, down from $116 million in 2021.  Of that amount, around $33 million came from the mortgage lending program, $43 million in household consumer, $8 million in credit cards, and $13 million in business loans.  During 2022 your credit union also worked hard to improve and offer relevant products for the rising rate environment.  Improvements included a new website with enhanced security and more friendly features for both mobile & desktop. Our free checking accounts began earning a Higher APY- Reward/bonus rate for debit usage, e-statement users and direct deposit/ACH.  Unlike many other institutions our All Access (free) checking accountholders were automatically enrolled- no hassle with changing account types or numbers.  Additionally, we offered several CD promotional rates, including step-up CDs that allowed flexibility with rising rates. Another area of focus that doesn’t get much attention until it hits us personally was fraud.  During 2022, the credit union took many steps behind the scenes to defend against the daunting increase of fraud- both in branch and through virtual channels.  Many of those initiatives have shown success and this is important as a small cooperative as fraud continues to cut into what we can return back to members.     

We always like to say, it matters where you bank.  Since 2019, the community first program combined with other community reinvestment dollars account for an 11% return as a percentage of net earnings.  Although our giving was down some from prior years with the margin squeeze, Access still allocated nearly $90,000 back to our community in 2022. Our community first committee is here to help folks in our community when life and tragedy strike on an individual and confidential basis.  More information on the different organizations that your membership helps support can be found on our website.  The committee is formed of non-senior management team members elected by their peers to evaluate situations and help when possible.  If you know of someone in need contact Vaden Carthel (vcarthel@accesscu.net).        

Our financial condition remained solid during 2022, a reflection of sound oversight by the board and good stewardship by the leadership team.  The Credit Union’s 2022 Annual Report will be made available on our website very soon, but here listed below is a financial snapshot from 2022:         

  • Total Assets reached $197.9 million at year end 2022
  • Net loans grew by 12.6% - to $153.7 million outstanding at year end; a net increase of $17.25 million for the year; we made over $97 million in new loans during the year
  • Member deposits ended 2022 at $158.5 million
  • Our Net Worth remains strong at 10.4%

Last Fall, the credit union also ranked #11 in American Banker’s Best Credit Union’s to Work For. This is nationally and across all asset sizes.  We have an amazing team that passionately serves our members and each other.  None of this would be possible without the trust and partnership our members have provided for over 69 years.  Once again, it matters where choose to bank and we’re blessed to have your trust and support as we enter year number 70!  On behalf of our board and team, thank you! 

May you and your family be blessed in 2023! 

Respectfully,

 

John Hays

President / CEO

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Access Community Credit Union is committed to serving all persons within our field of membership, including those with disabilities. We strive to make not only our physical branches accessible, but also to conform to WCAG 2.0 guidelines for website accessibility. Our efforts are ongoing including frequent testing and updates to improve accessibility. Should you have any problems accessing our branches or website, please call us at 1-800-687-2990 so that we may promptly assist you and remedy any accessibility concerns.


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Welcome to Access Community Credit Union in Amarillo, Texas! At Access Community Credit Union, we believe in providing our members with the financial tools they need to achieve their goals. As a not-for-profit financial institution, we return our profits back to our members in the form of better rates and lower fees. Our goal is to help you make the most of your money, and we strive to do this through a variety of products and services. Our Services: Checking and savings accounts Loan options, including personal, auto, and home loans Credit cards with competitive rates Online and mobile banking Investment services And more! Why Choose ACCU: Local decision making Personalized service Competitive rates A commitment to our community At Access Community Credit Union, we are more than just a financial institution. We are a part of the Amarillo community and we take pride in supporting and giving back to our neighbors. Visit us today and discover why Access Community Credit Union is the right choice for you and your financial future. OUR STORY In 1953, Southwestern Public Service CO (SPS) employees came together to establish Public Service Employees Credit Union. This not-for-profit cooperative would serve employees and their families growing financial needs under the mission of “people helping people.” As the company continued to grow, so did the credit union and in 1999 Public Service Employees Credit Union was renamed and rebranded as Access Credit Union and membership was opened to select employer groups. In July of 2003 Access was granted a community charter to allow anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Potter or Randall counties eligibility for membership. The credit union operates 4 branch locations in Amarillo: 6401 S. Bell, 201 Tascosa Road, 2531 Paramount Blvd, and the Mortgage Center, 6020 I-40 West. The credit union today looks vastly different from the one in 1953. In building on the mission of “people helping people,” the board and senior team began in the early 2000’s to refocus toward the future. “Helping You Build Financial Security” was defined as the credit union’s purpose statement under the foundational core values of “relationships, integrity and service.” Since that time the credit union has doubled in asset size, with growth sustained by making member focused decisions, and introducing member focused products and services. For Access, member focused means one thing, always providing “trusted advice” regardless of the issue or situation. We believe this helps more families in our community and those families will tell other families and friends. What makes us different than a bank? Bank profits generally benefit a group of shareholders who own stock in the bank. Credit union profits are returned by lower loan rates, and fees as well as higher dividend rates on deposits to all credit union members. Another major difference is that credit unions are governed by volunteer board of directors elected by the membership. At Access and at most credit unions these board members are not compensated monetarily. Simply put, credit unions offer many similar services of banks (loans, checking accounts, online banking, apps, etc) but serve a different purpose: to provide a better deal to the members. We offer you the tools to take control of your website's content. Ensure your placement in Google's ranking and increase your leads and conversions by keeping your content up to date and relevant with runCMS. runCMS does not rely on third party plugins that are prone to breakage. Instead, it is actively developed, hosted, and supported by the friendly and experienced staff at Run Business Solutions. That means that you don't need to worry about dealing with hard-to-reach, unreliable web hosting companies. runCMS is powerful and easy to use. We would love to show you how it works. 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