Profit fall doesn't faze Cairns-based credit union
THE Cairns-based ECU Australia credit union has reported a lower than usual profit despite deposits and loans increasing.
Newly appointed chairman Greg Nucifora said the before-tax profit of $313,000 was well below levels recorded in previous years.
He attributed this to the higher costs of attracting deposit funds and some "one-off" transitional costs as the credit union replaced all transaction services.
"ECU was required to pay higher rates for deposits as a result of the major banks becoming more aggressive in attracting domestic funds," he said.
"Transitional costs were incurred in areas associated with introduction of a new BSB, Visa and Access cards.
"The good news is that ECU has successfully navigated a time of substantial change and implemented initiatives that will provide long-lasting benefits to members for many years to come.
"Our financial and operational results have been restored to sound levels and the key structural and operational changes implemented will drive future growth and prosperity."
Mr Nucifora said the credit union's assets grew by 8.2 per cent to more than $320 million, while building on a strong platform of satisfied members, deposits increased by 8.8 per cent to $290 million.
"While demand for home and investment lending remained subdued during the year, loans to members were up by 4 per cent to $260 million."
Mr Nucifora, who was appointed chairman at the 39th annual meeting on November 24, has been a board member since 2007 and has more than 20 years' financial and stockmarket experience.
He is a private client adviser and stockbroker with Bell Potter Securities in Cairns and previously held positions with Ord Minnett, Credit Suisse First Bostonand PricewaterhouseCoopersboth within Australia and overseas. He was born and raised in the Far North.
"I'm extremely honoured that the board has entrusted me with the chairmanship and I'm excited about the opportunities for ECU's future," Mr Nucifora said.
"ECU's success is underpinned by its genuine focus on member needs, delivering excellence in banking and our commitment to the community."
Former chairman Chris Turnbull, who had held the role since 2007, stood down as part of the credit union's succession plan but he remains a board member.
Long-standing member Justin Fitzgerald is now deputy chairman and other board directors are Clive Skarott, Paul Horn, John Andrejic, Phillip Pollard and Tony Williamson.
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Sound future: ECU board chairman Greg Nucifora says the firm has successfully navigated a time of substantial change. Picture: BRENDAN FRANCIS