Saturday, 24 July 2021

Community First Credit Union reports record gains for assets, loans, deposits, income in 2020

SANTA ROSA, Calif. – Community First Credit Union, a financial cooperative owned by its 60,000 members, posted double-digit – and record – gains in assets, deposits, loan originations, loan portfolio and income for the year 2020.

More important, record low interest rates resulted in substantial monthly savings for mortgage and consumer-loan borrowers.

For those who refinanced their mortgage, the average savings was $495 a month. An additional $52,000 a month in common fees were waived, such as rush payments over the phone, providing another financial lifeline to many members.

“The pandemic put us to the test; the credit union and its members,” said Todd Sheffield, CEO of Community First. “Our first order of business was to defer monthly payments for 4,652 consumer loans so that Members could assess the economic damage posed by the shelter-in-place orders. Additionally, despite a near zero-interest-rate environment on the deposit side, we kept rates relatively high so that Members could continue to earn more.”

It also helped that three technology initiatives, in development months before the pandemic, all came to fruition and implementation in the early days of the pandemic.

“In March we were the first locally based financial institution to incorporate a 24/7 ‘virtual banker’ to our online and mobile platforms. This made it easier to bank without having to come to a branch,” said Sheffield.

In May, Community First was also the first local bank or credit union to introduce a contactless debit card, which was perfect timing to protect consumers from unnecessary touches with surfaces.

Lastly, in June, Community First introduced a complete mirror of its English-language website in Spanish, a first among local financial institutions.

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