We are pleased to report that Firstmark Credit Union accomplished another successful year in 2014, thanks to the thousands of members who make us their financial institute of choice and the hundreds of staff members who commit every day to improving our members’ lives.
Contributing to our success on the national scene, fiscal pressures eased somewhat as the economic environment of 2014 was generally positive. The U.S. continued its slow rebound and our state once again enjoyed the benefits of slow and steady job growth. Consumer confidence also showed slight improvement, with a second consecutive year of solid growth in auto sales offsetting declines in mortgage refinance activity.
Somewhat less favorable, the level of financial Reform legislation remained high throughout the year and continued to be a challenge for all financial institutions who must respond to ever-increasing compliance requirements that are costly to adopt and maintain.
Despite these challenges, we remained competitive throughout the year and continue to maintain a strong capital position. With a watchful eye on expenses and a goal to make it possible for our members to realize their financial dreams, we focused our efforts on enhanced technology, branch expansion, and a broadened range of innovative products and services tailored to their needs.
Here is a short list of what we managed to achieve with the help of our employees and the loyalty of our members:
GROWTH: We grew the credit union membership to more than 95,000 members, our loan portfolio by over $79 Million and deposits by $63 Million.
NEW LOCATION: We opened the Bitters/1604 location in March to better serve members in North Central San Antonio, bringing our total to 14 convenient branch locations throughout the city.
IMPROVED ONLINE BANKING: We invested in a large upgrade to our consumer and business online banking platforms, resulting in more secure technology, enhanced mobile features, and a single platform for business and consumer banking. By the end of the year, we had increased our online banking users by 14%.
ENHANCED LENDING: We implemented a new, easy-to-use online and mobile loan application, expanded our indirect dealer network to provide more convenient options for members at the dealership, and improved our automated loan decision process, providing faster responses to our members awaiting approval.
The future of Firstmark Credit Union is bright as we continue to see upward trends in national economic forecasts, a renewed vigor in local business and investing, and an improved sense of well-being and confidence in our members and community. We hope you’ll continue to look to Firstmark Credit Union as a trusted financial solution and partner. We thank you for your membership and the success you brought your credit union in 2014. It is an honor to serve your needs.
Leon Ewing, President/CEO
Donald Pinson, Board Chairman