G&F Financial Group is reporting a strong year in 2021, despite COVID and natural disasters. (Screengrab)

G&F Financial Group is reporting a strong year in 2021, despite COVID and natural disasters. (Screengrab)

Credit union merger helps strengthen G&F Financial’s bottom line

Joining with Aldergrove Credit Union increased membership and assets, allowed more community aid

Merger with Aldergrove Credit Union this past year has spelled a strong fiscal year for G&F Financial Group.

And the credit union that merged with ACU in August, and subsequently its members and communities are seeing the benefits of that, said Lewis Buble, G&F’s president and board chair.

It was a year of “incredible collaboration, expansion, and supporting our community,” he said, good news considering it was a challenging year .

“We are proud to have stood strong as they navigated the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and unexpected natural disasters,” Buble said, in revealing the 2021 financials.

“Despite continued uncertainty in the economy, G&F had exemplary results in 2021 with record earnings from operations for the year of $26.3 million. We exceeded our budgeted lending, deposit, and wealth management growth targets for the year,” he said in a recent statement.

“In part due to our merger with Aldergrove Credit Union in August, our assets increased by 60.1 per cent, surpassing $4 billion on balance sheet.”

RELATED: Aldergrove Credit Union and G&F Financial vote to merge

The lending portfolio grew by 60.2 per cent and deposits grew by 61.9 per cent, which included organic growth of 20.9 per cent and 17.7 per cent respectively. The wealth portfolio grew by 99.8 per cent (including organic growth of $102 million, or 34.8 per cent) to $585 million.

They also welcomed 2,749 net new members to our credit union and 18,355 members through the merger with Aldergrove Credit Union, who are on the receiving end of a board approved dividend return of 3 per cent on member equity shares and 4.5 per cent on investment equity shares.

“Our credit union family is stronger today than one year ago. With our combined resources, members are responding to our offerings, our competitive rates, our personalized services in branches and our digital banking technology which we continue to build on,” said Buble.

In November, G&F and other credit unions donated significant funds towards communities in the South Coastal and Interior regions of British Columbia after severe weather devastated the region, causing flooding, landslides, mudslides, power outages and other incidents.

G&F Financial Group gave $250,000 in direct contributions to community groups and initiatives and granted deferrals on mortgage payments for personal and commercial members affected by the floods.

“When we combined our resources with Aldergrove Credit Union we were able to double our investment back into communities from Vancouver to Mission,” he said, noting a total of $1,111,570 went to local community groups, scholarship and bursary programs, charities, and cultural and sports organizations.

That included three major charitable fundraisers where employees, partners, and sponsors raised $187,833.

“During our year-end ‘Tis the season community giveaway’, we donated $170,000 to community groups across the Lower Mainland and $30,000 to the Credit Union Foundation of British Columbia for student bursaries. We finished the year with a $1 million contribution to the G&F Financial Group Foundation for future community needs,” Buble said.

“It has been an exceptional year of change for our employees, and we celebrate their resiliency and willingness to collaborate to deliver service excellence to our members. The merger brought 110 employees into our family and with them came new ideas, new ways of doing things, and an incredible team spirit. This has bolstered our workplace engagement and culture, through involving employees in building our future navigating and adapting to process, system and leadership change,” he added.

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“When we are successful in business, our communities benefit. We were pleased to direct $1 million dollars to the foundation so that we can continue doing our part in growing healthy, strong communities for years to come,” said Bill Kiss and Jeff Shewfelt, Co-CEOs of G&F Financial Group.

The merger also resulted in seven branches being added to the G&F network last August, in addition to four Co-operators insurance locations.

G&F Financial Group, now more than 80 years in operation, has more than 61,000 members (as of March 2022), 26 locations, and $5 billion in total assets under administration.

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