VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Central 1 Credit Union (Central 1) reported profit after tax of $34.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2019, up $31.8 million from 2018 excluding one-time gains of $82.9 million in 2018. Profit before tax was $33.3 milion in 2019, up $28.4 million from 2018 excluding the one-time gains.
Results reflect strong earnings growth from Wholesale Financial Services. We continued to leverage our scale and expand our products and services to new clients across Canada. Consistent with our strategy, we continued to invest in strategic initiatives in 2019, mainly in Digital & Payment Services including the development and expansion of our Forge Digital Banking Platform (Forge).
Central 1 is an integral partner in the digital transformation of credit unions. Forge enables our clients to design and customize their digital offerings, and remain at the forefront of ever-evolving digital banking expectations. We have 165 clients, nearly 50 per cent of Canadian credit unions, committed to Forge to date. Approximately two million Canadians will have access to the platform.
“Despite the slowing rate of economic growth, our 2019 results reinforce the strength and stability of Central 1 and our unique position in the cooperative banking ecosystem,” said Mark Blucher, President and CEO of Central 1. “The pace of change is accelerating faster than ever and our efforts to be more responsive to our members’ and clients’ needs by designing and developing the best solutions are delivering results. Our scale and expertise remain the source of our competitive advantage, and the success of Canadian credit unions and the financial well-being of their members, continue to be our compass and our purpose.”
Following approval by our Board on November 21, 2019, we submitted a segregation plan to the B.C. Financial Services Authority (BCFSA) to legally segregate the B.C. and Ontario Mandatory Liquidity Pool (MLP) into contractual trusts by December 31, 2020. Under the segregation plan, we as trustee and investment manager, will continue to manage the funds for credit unions under terms established by the regulators and B.C. and Ontario member credit unions. We received BCFSA’s acceptance of the segregation plan in December 2019 and in early 2020, commenced extensive member engagement. In our financial results, MLP has been presented separately.
2019 Full Year Consolidated Results compared to last year
- Profit after tax was $34.2 million in 2019, up $31.8 million excluding one-time gains of $82.9 million in 2018. Profit before tax was $33.3 million, up $28.4 million excluding the
- Return on average equity of 3.0 per cent, compared to 7.4 per cent.
- Assets of $17.9 billion, up 5.9 per cent from $16.9 billion.
2019 Full Year Results
The change in total assets to $17.9 billion from $16.9 billion in 2018 mainly correlates to the change in the size of our funding portfolios. The increase is aligned with strong growth in our non-mandatory credit union deposits.
Excluding MLP, net financial income was strong and increased by $36.3 million. This was primarily driven by a $30.9 million increase in net realized and unrealized gains from decreasing market yields and narrowing credit spreads. Interest margin also increased $5.7 million due to higher growth in the non-mandatory deposit base in 2019. Expenses associated with our strategic initiatives continued, consistent with our strategic plan, up $8.0 million compared to last year primarily due to the development of the Forge platform.
MLP profit after tax in 2019 was up $14.0 million from 2018 at $27.5 million. MLP reported a $13.2 million increase in net financial income benefiting from decreasing market yields and narrowing credit spreads in most of 2019.
Fourth Quarter 2019 compared to Fourth Quarter 2018
- Loss after tax was $17.6 million in 2019, improved by $1.4 million.
- Net financial income increased $15.5 million to $18.3 million.
- For MLP, profit after tax for 2019 exceeded the same period in 2018 by $7.6 million.
About Central 1
Central 1 is a preferred partner for financial, digital banking and payment products and services – fuelling the success of businesses across Canada. With $17.9 billion in assets, we leverage our scale, strength and expertise to power progress for more than 250 credit unions and other financial institutions, enhancing the financial well-being of more than 5 million customers from coast to coast. For more information, visit www.central1.com.
Caution Regarding Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements based on assumptions, uncertainties and management’s best estimates of future events. These include, without limitation, statements contain the words “may,” “will,” “intends” and “anticipates” and other similar words and expressions. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management at the date the statements are made. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated. Securityholders are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Certain important assumptions by Central 1 in making forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, competitive conditions, economic conditions, regulatory considerations and Central 1 agreeing with BCFSA and FSRA on a new financial structure that is acceptable to Central 1, FSRA and BCFSA; Central 1 may not be able to obtain necessary regulatory and member approvals to complete implementation of the MLP segregation plan. Important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements include economic risks, regulatory risks and other risks detailed from time to time in Central 1’s periodic reports filed with securities regulators. Given these risks, the reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Central 1 undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable laws.
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