VANCOUVER, B.C., May 28, 2021 – Central 1 Credit Union (‘Central 1’ or ‘the organization’) reported a profit after tax of $24.7 million for the first quarter (Q1) ended March 31, 2021, compared to a loss of $37.3 million in the same period in 2020.
In the first quarter of 2021, Central 1 reported strong results driven by the organization’s diversified business model, operational resilience managing the ongoing pandemic, and an improving economic environment. Central 1 maintained the confidence of the credit union system and supported members and clients with essential products and services. The organization continued strategic investments to enhance digital and payments capabilities to meet the changing demands of Canadians.
“Central 1’s performance this quarter reflects our ability to adapt, our strong balance sheet and the strength of our organization,” said Sheila Vokey, Interim President and CEO. “We effectively managed expenses and endeavour to be well-positioned to have the right products and services for our members and clients as the pace of innovation and change accelerates.”
The organization remains focused on supporting the credit union system and ensuring the system’s success. Central 1 continues to be a financially strong and profitable organization, driven by strong growth in our investment portfolio and a prudent investing strategy, combined with an increase in steady fee-based revenue, and enhanced operational efficiency.
Q1 2021 Consolidated Results Compared to Q1 2020:
Effective January 1, 2021, Central 1 discontinued operation of the Mandatory Liquidity Pool when it was segregated.
- Profit of $24.7 million, compared to loss of $37.3 million (excluding discontinued operations) in 2020.
- Assets of $14.4 billion, up 44.0 per cent from $10.0 billion (excluding discontinued operations) in 2020.
Prior year results reflect the impact from the pandemic due to significant widening of credit spreads and rate cuts by the Bank of Canada. However, credit spreads narrowed since the second quarter of 2020 and reverted to the pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2020. Non-financial income and non-financial expense remained relatively stable. Investments in strategic initiatives continued into Q1 2021 but were $9.5 million lower compared to Q1 2020.
Statement of financial position
Excluding the assets from discontinued operations, total assets as at March 31, 2021 increased $0.4 billion from December 31, 2020 and $4.4 billion from a year ago, supported by the strong growth in deposits. In response to the potential economic impact of COVID-19, many credit unions continued to hold elevated levels of liquidity. Deposits placed with Central 1 increased $0.5 billion from December 31, 2020 and $5.4 billion from March 31, 2020.
Treasury saw a $26.9 million profit compared to a loss of $26.2 million in the same quarter a year ago. In January, Central 1 issued successfully a $250 million, 5-year senior deposit note in advance of a $350 million senior note maturity. Although Central 1 liquidity levels remain high, Central 1 took advantage of attractive market pricing and conditions and locked in 5-year term funding. Central 1 focused on supporting our members with our Asset Management Services, which was developed and delivered in partnership with Credential QTrade Securities Inc. This service was created as a direct response to help our members with the MLP transition.
Payments & Digital Banking Platforms and Experiences
Payments & Digital Banking Platforms and Experiences (DBPX), formerly Digital & Payment Services, experienced a loss of $2.0 million compared to a loss of $11.4 million a year ago. This was driven by an increase in Interac® e-Transfer volumes, reflecting the ongoing increase in usage of online payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Investment in strategic initiatives continued in 2021, including the Payments Modernization initiative, with the amount incurred being $10.1 million lower year-over-year.
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 assets of $14.4 billion as at March 31, 2021, 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 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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Vice President, Stakeholder Relations & Communications
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Chief Investment Officer Central 1
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