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Community First Credit Union Annual Report Shows Strength, Consumer Confidence

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 3/4/2016 12:00:00 PM

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., March 4, 2016 - Community First Credit Union, one of the largest credit unions in Florida, released its 2015 annual financial report at its 81st annual meeting held Thursday, March 3 at the credit union’s headquarters in LaVilla. The annual report shows strong loan growth for the third year in a row. The credit union also celebrated its expansion, the opening of its branch in Riverside in January.

The credit union’s loan portfolio grew to $807 million, up 7.7 percent from $749 million last year. Consumer loans, which include car loans and mortgages, grew from $347 million at the end of 2014 to $385 million in 2015, an 11.2% percent increase. Business loans, one of the credit union’s primary strategic focuses, ended the year at an historical institutional high of $37 million. Total assets were reported at more than $1.32 billion, an increase of 5.5 percent over 2014.

“Loan growth, transaction levels and member engagement indicate our members consider Community First the backbone of their financial life,” said CEO and President John Hirabayashi. “Increasing consumer confidence and business growth are promising indicators in our improving economy in North Florida.”

At the meeting, Hirabayashi was recognized for 20 years of service as the institution’s CEO. Community First has grown more than 500 percent since he joined the credit union in 1996 when it was Educational Community Credit Union with $200 million in assets and 44,000 members.

In 2015, the credit union reported a capital to assets ratio of 12.8 percent, the highest ratio reported in the organization’s recent history. Membership grew to more than 112,000 an increase of 3.4 percent over 2014. Earnings were reported at $16.9 million up from $16.5 million the prior year.

A key measure of member engagement is the number of members who actively bank with the credit union. In 2015 active checking accounts grew by 4.1 percent to 59,086, a record high. Checking balances increased by 20.8 percent to $225 million, also an institution record.

In 2015, the credit union embarked on the most aggressive redesigns of its branches to reflect changes in the way people bank as well as enhanced technology and services. The newly-opened Riverside branch is the first location with this new design. The branch features industry-leading technology paired with assisted service and access to a wide variety of advanced products – like immediate connection with a mortgage specialist by videoconference.

The credit union also reported on its 2015 community partnerships. The company teamed up with the Jacksonville Armada FC for the largest partnership in its history. It continued the support of beloved community events like the Jacksonville Light Boat Parade and the Community First Seawalk Music Festival. And the Community First Cares Foundation raised a record amount of funds to continue its support of projects small and large which seek to improve health and wellness in our community.

Community First Credit Union of Florida is a state-chartered credit union based in Jacksonville serving anyone who lives or works on the First Coast. Community First is one of the 10 largest credit unions in the state, serving more than 113,000 members and with assets of $1.3 billion. Community First has 18 locations and 300 employees. A not-for-profit, Community First is a full-service financial institution offering banking, loans, mortgages and investments for consumers and businesses throughout the First Coast.