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Turnaround: Altura CU reports best financials in its history
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (1/28/13)--Altura CU reported its net income has more than doubled since the end of 2011, and it ended 2012 with the best financials in the organization's history.

"This is without question the best year in Altura's history," said Mark Hawkins, CEO of the Riverside, Calif.-based credit union. "Historically, Altura has had many good years, but that was not the case during the Great Recession. So, it is very exciting to be able to report such positive results after that period of difficulty," he added.

The $665.3 million asset Altura reported a net income of $17.49 million for the year ended Dec. 31. That's more than double the $8.43 million reported at the end of 2011, when assets totaled $642.9 million. Assets increased 1.9%--the first increase since 2007. The credit union is on target with its 2012 goal, a 2% asset increase, said Hawkins.

The credit union attributed its turnaround to ongoing expense reduction, reductions in set-asides for loan losses and increased auto lending. However, the good news is tempered by the continued slow job growth in the area and ongoing lack of consumer confidence, Hawkins said.

"Consumers continue to be concerned about what is happening in the marketplace. Their focus remains on paying down debt, so our lending growth still has a ways to go. Yet, we clearly see improvement, particularly in auto lending," he said.

Altura also announced that it has developed Reliance Checking tol assist individuals with unpaid accounts and negative credit history. The account offers a regular Visa Debit Card, online banking, mobile banking and eStatements. After six months of positive account activity and paying off any checking account debits, account holders are eligible to move up to the next level in financial recovery, the Renew Checking Account. After six months of positive activity, members then become eligible for any of Altura's checking accounts.


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