Report of the President & Chief Executive Officer
As we move well into the third quarter, SeaComm continues to be on target to meet our expected forecast set forth in the FY21 operating budget. Member satisfaction, staff engagement and overall profitability continues to remain above expectation.
Our Financial Position Today Continues to Remain Solid
Net income as of July 31, 2021 is $3,170,623. Our net assets at the end of July were $731,438,341. At the same time, net operating expenses YTD were 1.55%, well below the 3% targeted goal set by the credit union’s budget. Today, we have $101 million in total equity to date. Capital remains a key component to our financial health, as it is necessary to grow adequate reserves so we are able to withstand any uncertainty as our assets continue to increase and thereby be viable well into the future.
Weiss, an independent rating agency, has once again provided SeaComm the A- rating in terms of excellent financial strength for Q1 FY21. This means that we offer excellent financial security. We have maintained a conservative stance in our business operations and underwriting practices as evidenced by the strong equity base, high asset quality, steady earnings, and high liquidity. The A- rating places this institution on Weiss Recommended List of institutions, an elite group of 566 credit unions representing the top 11.0% of the industry.
BauerFinancial, another independent rating company, awarded us their Superior Five-Stars. They analyze the performance of U.S. Banks and Credit Unions. The star ratings classify each credit union based upon a complex formula which factors in relevant data including, but not limited to: capital, historical trends, loan delinquencies, differences in the book and market values of the investment portfolio, profitability, repossessed assets, reserves, charge-offs, regulatory compliance and asset quality. It has deemed SeaComm as safe, financially sound, and that we are operating well above regulatory capital requirements. DepositAccounts has also given us an A+ rating for Q1 FY21; one of the highest health grades given out.
In my report at this year’s annual meeting held in May, we were able to announce 2020, although a challenging year with COVID-19, was another solid year for SeaComm. Highlights for the previous year, which included: earnings exceeding budget, membership growth at 3 ½ percent, continued increase market share penetration with our newest location in South Burlington, VT, as well as a solid fifth year for our SeaComm Personal Advisor Services with over $50 million of assets under management. We also saw an increase in our mobile technology with a growth of 30%. We were also able to support our members early on during the economic pause as a direct result of the global pandemic. Those who needed assistance had nearly $20 million in total loan balances and we also were able to support our small businesses with $13 million in PPP. The overall message we relayed was that SeaComm is committed to ensuring our members get the very best in member service, core products and a diverse delivery channel model at any point it is needed. Three Directors were re-elected to 3-year terms, Wayne Duso, Gary Fuller and Robert Santamoor. A podcast recapping the 2020 meeting is available on our website.
United Neighbors Merger Complete
Last year, the Board of Directors approved to move forward with a merger with United Neighbors Federal Credit Union of Watertown, NY. Their Board of Directors, as part of the due diligence process, and National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) regulation conducted a vote of their membership, which in turn gave approval to move it forward. The NCUA approved the merger and it was certified on May 14, 2021 with a letter from the Eastern Regional Director. The operational transition of all deposit accounts, loans and debit cards was completed on June 1.
As part of this merger, the SeaComm Board of Directors formed a Watertown Advisory Committee comprised of United Neighbors former board members. The charge of this committee is to gauge how the merger went (based upon what the UN board had expected), market knowledge and were the members satisfied with the transition. The committee is chaired by Corey Decillis, former Board President, Jeff Rutigliano and William Spauldling. We also were able to retain the dedicated staff of the credit union. Leslie Bush continued as the manager of our Watertown Branch.
In conjunction with this merger, the Board of Directors approved moving forward with a search and purchase of property and future construction of a new retail branch in the Watertown market. It is expected that construction will begin spring 2022. P.W. Campbell, Pittsburgh, PA will be the design/build firm.
We recently finished the construction of our second Vermont location in Essex. We held a ribbon cutting in April and hired a new branch manager and staff. Although we are adding another new market for us to serve, we are committed to exceeding member expectation as we always have. It is important for every member to know that we make certain that everything we plan and ultimately implement has member and employee satisfaction as our end goal.
In an effort to be inclusive of all our employees, we made a decision to choose a new engagement survey to ensure that our Vermont employees were able to participate. For ten consecutive years, SeaComm has been a Best Company to Work for in New York. Our decision to go with Great Place to Work Certified enabled us to meet our needs. Earlier this year, our employees were able to participate in this new process. We were very happy to report that after we received the results, 89% of our employees say this SeaComm is a great place to work. Some of what we learned is that 97% felt good about the way we contribute to the community, 95% agree that management is competent at running the business and 95% say when you join the company, you are made to feel welcome. We are extremely proud to be included within this privileged group across the country.
As we look to the remainder of this year, we will be focusing our attention on enhancing our mobile platform and ensuring that every interaction with our membership exceeds expectation. This focus continues to meet the ever-changing business landscape and provide each member with a strong value proposition in being a member of our credit union. This is done through a consistent and responsible growth strategy.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, management and staff, we are grateful to our more than 51,486 members who have put their trust in us and we will continue to work diligently to remain strong in order to be able to serve well into the future.
Scott A. Wilson
President and Chief Executive Officer
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