4th Quarter 2017 Message

January 2, 2018

Dear Member,

On behalf of the Utilities Credit Union staff and Board of Directors, I hope your Christmas was joyful and your New Year is filled with happiness and prosperity.

2017 was a successful year for your UCU, and you.  Through November, the credit union membership stands at 997 members of which almost 200 use our loan products.  Members have placed over $6.6 million of their money in share accounts that have provided approximately $4.0 million in loans to members.  The $3.3 million the credit union has invested in financial instruments with other institutions has yielded an average of 1.28% APY, a significant increase over last year.  This increase in earnings has made it possible for the Board of Directors to declare share dividend increases twice this year.

The outlook for 2018 shows it to be a prosperous year as we continue to say goodbye to the effects of the financial crisis.  According to the key economic indicators, the most critical of which is the gross domestic product which measures the nation’s production output, is expected to remain in the ideal range.  Unemployment is forecast to continue at a stable, natural rate with not too much inflation or deflation.  However, because of this favorable outlook the U.S. central bank raised short-term interest rates three times in 2017.  Expect that trend to continue.  In 2018 we could see as many as three more 0.25 percent rate hikes, according to experts.  So, while the U.S. economic outlook is healthy, the best thing for you to do is to stay relentlessly focused on your financial well-being.

We saw a few changes in 2017.  Our long-term Board Chairman Scott Seaholm stepped down from that position in anticipation of his retirement from Xcel Energy at the end of the year.  Fortunately however, he will remain on the Board as Director.   Likewise, John Roffler, another long-term credit union member who has served in nearly all capacities has retired from Xcel Energy but will remain with the credit union as Chairman of the Examining Committee.  Dorothy Lehmann retired from the Company and has stepped away from her credit union duties after a long and valuable tenure.  We wish her well in the future.

On the non-personal front, your Board has determined the cost and risk of administering its own credit card program has become too high.  As such, we have terminated issuing new cards to members.  We have investigated and selected another card issuer to serve the membership with a product which has enhancements over the benefits which were offered with the Utilities Credit Union Visa card.  More details will be forthcoming as they develop.

Finally, the Board of Directors has set the date and time of the 85th Annual Membership Meeting for Thursday, February 22, 2018, at 5:00 pm in the Bays at the Xcel Energy Skypark facility.  At the meeting we will present a recap of 2017 and hold elections for four Board of Director positions.  Door prizes and refreshments will be provided.

I hope to see you there.

Sincerely,

 

John R. Ness
Chairman

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