VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Aug. 20, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Central 1 Credit Union (‘Central 1’ or ‘the organization’) reported an increase in profit of $25.6 million for the first half of 2021, compared to the same period last year. For the second quarter (Q2) ended June 30, 2021, profit after tax was $3.5 million compared to a profit of $39.9 million in the same period in 2020. Prior year second quarter results included a material increase in net realized and unrealized gains of $46.4 million.
“We continue to deliver solid results reflecting the strength of our business lines and our prudent risk management,” said Sheila Vokey, Interim President and CEO. “We continued strategic investments to ensure our critical services embrace technological innovation and digital transformation. As a system utility, Central 1 provides critical building blocks for financial services. We leverage our competitive advantages of collaboration, scale, and expertise, and combine business and cooperative leadership to provide banking choice to Canadians and enable credit union success.”
Central 1 remained focused on providing value to the system and access to critical services at scale. The organization established a strategic partnership with Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), to deliver state-of-the-art payments processing capabilities to the Canadian market. The partnership reinforces Central 1’s commitment to positioning its clients at the forefront of Canada’s digital payments future. In addition, Central 1 announced a new iteration of the Forge Digital Banking Platform known as ‘Forge 2.0’. This underpins the Forge vision for digital banking with security, multi-tenancy and stability.
During the quarter, Central 1’s board approved the 2021 - 2023 corporate strategy. The corporate strategy provides the roadmap for Central 1 through three strategic priorities: redesigning to meet the credit union system’s evolving needs; operating effectively, consistently and with agility; and modernizing how Central 1 delivers value to the system.
Q2 2021 Consolidated Results Compared to Q2 2020:
Profit of $3.5 million, compared to profit of $39.9 million (excluding discontinued operations) in 2020.
Assets of $13.2 billion, up 5.5 per cent from $12.6 billion (excluding discontinued operations) in 2020.
Prior year second quarter results included a material increase in net realized and unrealized gains of $46.4 million, which reflected a significant change in both Government of Canada yields and credit spreads compared to the first quarter of 2020 when the impact to financial markets from the pandemic was at its peak. Interest margin increased $3.5 million from the same quarter last year, mainly due to a larger balance sheet, as credit union members continue to hold elevated levels of liquidity in the form of deposits with Central 1. Investments in strategic initiatives continued in Q2 2021 at a planned lower level and remained consistent with Central 1’s strategic priorities and plans, resulting in a $6.0 million lower spend compared to Q2 2020.
Year-to-date consolidated financial results
Profit from continuing operations for the first half of 2021 increased by $25.6 million compared to the same period last year. Interest margin for the first half of 2021 improved by $7.7 million compared to the same period last year due to a larger balance sheet, as credit union members continue to hold elevated levels of liquidity in the form of deposits with Central 1. Net realized and unrealized gains also improved by $9.1 million compared to the same period last year mainly due to continued favourable movements in credit spreads.
Statement of financial position
Excluding the assets from discontinued operations, total assets as at June 30, 2021 decreased $0.8 billion from December 31, 2020 when credit union liquidity peaked and has since decreased from elevated levels due to improving economic conditions.
Treasury profit was $35.8 million for the first half of 2021, up $15.9 million compared to the same period last year, primarily due to a $22.3 million increase in net financial income. During the quarter, Central 1 deposits remained higher than pre-pandemic levels, but deposits decreased as the excess liquidity, which the system built up during the pandemic, was redeployed.
Payments & Digital Banking Platforms and Experiences
Payments & Digital Banking Platforms and Experiences (DBPX), experienced a loss of $3.9 million for the first half of 2021, compared to a loss of $16.1 million during the same period last year. This was driven by an increase in Interac® e-Transfer volumes, reflecting the ongoing increase in usage of online payments during the pandemic. Investments in strategic initiatives continued at a planned lower level, consistent with Central 1’s strategies and plans, leading to a lower spend year-over-year.
About Central 1
Central 1 cooperatively empowers credit unions and other financial institutions to deliver banking choice to Canadians. With assets of $13.2 billion as at June 30, 2021, Central 1 provides critical services at scale to enable a thriving credit union system. We do this by collaborating with our clients, developing strategies, products and services to support the financial well-being of their more than 5 million diverse customers in communities across Canada. 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 relating to our financial performance objectives, vision, and strategic goals, the economic, market and regulatory review and outlook for the Canadian economy and the provincial economies in which our member credit unions operate and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as statements that 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 the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 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, risks and uncertainty from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic 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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