To Our Members,
Thank you for your membership and business at Access Community Credit Union. 2021 continued to be trying times for our nation and for many families. Throughout the trials and heartbreaking losses, our community continues to persevere with hope. We are grateful for those in healthcare and amazed at their continued endurance and grit. Thank you for your continued trust in Access. I’m thankful 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 2021.
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 the year with nearly 7% inflation the ‘transitory’ language has faded, but the inflation has not. February 2022 consumer prices rose 7.9% from a year ago and the fastest pace since 1982 (Labor Dept). This combined with the geo-political environment makes for an extremely bleak overall outlook. The yield curve on the US 10yr -2yr government bond spread now indicates trouble as well. 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 funds continued to be pumped into the economy. Can rates ever really return to normal? What 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). I’m certainly no economist and tend to oversimplify matters; but one of our industry economists recent talks might shed some light on why since the year 2000 we’ve only seen one period of fed funds rates above 5% (June 2006 thru Fall of 2007). This economist explained that for every 100bps increase in fed funds rates, it costs the Treasury approximately $300 Billion per month in interest expense (or $3.6 Trillion per year). Take a glance at the historical Fed Funds chart below.
I’m proud to report that your credit union continued to do well during 2021. The credit union originated approximately $116 million in gross loans, up 26% from 2020. Of that amount, around $40 million came from the mortgage lending program, $56 million in household consumer, $8 million in credit cards, and $12 million in business loans. During 2021 your credit union also worked hard to make improvements to our checking accounts. Those improvements included higher debit card limits, enhanced fraud prevention along with expanded 24/7 debit support line, and fresh new debit card designs. The credit union’s chat-assist during normal business hours is also available online or within the app. The addition of another ATM network (CO-OP) that brings the total nationwide of surcharge free to over 50,000. This includes use of any Amarillo credit union ATM free of charge. Much work was also done to design a new High APY Reward checking account that will launch in Spring of 2022 (Details to come soon).
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. In November, your credit union was able to give $1,000 to 20 different local non-profits in 1 week! A few of those organizations include Mission Amarillo, Kind-House Ukrainian Bakery, Buckner Family Place, ACTS Community Center, and Mission 2540. The Community First Committee also went shopping for over $15,000 worth of school supplies during the year. Another charge of our community first committee is 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Our financial condition remained solid during 2021, a reflection of sound oversight by the board and good stewardship by the leadership team. The Credit Union’s 2021 Annual Report will be made available on our website very soon, but here listed below is a financial snapshot from 2021:
-Total Assets reached $156.3 million at year end – a $10.6 million increase or 7.2% increase for the year
-Net loans grew by 14.3% – to $136.6 million outstanding at year end; a net increase of $17.1 million for the year; we made over $116 million in new loans during the year
-Member deposits ended 2021 at $126.7 million; deposits grew by $9.3 million; for an increase of 7.9%
-Our Net Worth remains high at 12.9%
In November, your credit union was honored to receive the National Philanthropy Day Outstanding Small Business Award after being nominated by Harrington Cancer and Health Foundation. This is a testimony to our faithful membership and dedicated team. None of this would be possible without the trust and partnership our members have provided for over 68 years. Once again, it matters where you choose to bank and we’re blessed to have your trust and support. On behalf of our board and team, thank you!
May you and your family be blessed in 2022!
President / CEO