We’re pleased to inform you that Wescom continued its strong performance, posting net earnings of more than $57 million in 2022.
While still navigating through a global pandemic and increasing inflationary pressures, we remained dedicated to our vision of becoming Southern California’s premier banking partner. Through our three newly emphasized Strategic Priorities of “Member,” “Team,” and “Community,” we were able to focus our efforts on working together to build better lives for all.
In 2022, we recorded a 17 percent increase in new members and more than six percent increase in total membership. We now serve more than 218,000 members in Southern California. Our membership growth can be attributed to a number of initiatives we rolled out in 2022 including the elimination of monthly checking account fees, minimum savings balance fees, and overdraft transfer fees.* We enhanced our online membership application, which removed barriers and made it easier for new members to join the Credit Union, and provided members with the ability to open one of our newly redesigned Wescom Youth Accounts for the youth in their life through Online Banking or our mobile applications.
We also understand the importance of member service and its impact on membership growth. Expanding on the ways a member can connect with us, we made video appointments available at all of our 24 branches to add convenience for members, especially those who might not live close to a branch. We improved our online and mobile banking channels, including the newly redesigned websites for our UCLA community and Wescom Financial Services and expanded access to Zelle®** in Online Banking. Member service is at the core of everything we do and these enhancements to members’ everyday banking have made a positive impact in their lives. An indication of how well we’re providing member service was reflected through our Member Experience Score (MES) of 82 percent, which is based on an average of six categories reflecting the member’s experience with us.
As the face and voice of Wescom, our team members have consistently been a component to our growth and success.It is always our objective to provide member-value by delivering products and loan rates at favorable pricing amidst an increasing rate environment. While we focused on keeping our rates competitive in the market, in 2022, we streamlined our Personal Line of Credit (PLOC) online application experience for both members and non-members. If you're a member, you can apply when you're logged into Online Banking. If you're a non-member applying for a Wescom PLOC online, you'll automatically complete the Wescom membership application at the same time. We also launched a new discount for the purchase or refinance of a qualifying electric or hybrid vehicle. When it came to offering loan products to our members, we made a commitment to close loans quickly and continue offering our full portfolio of lending products. Even though other financial institutions contracted their loan offerings to consumers, we expanded. In 2022, we funded more than $332 million in auto loan to members — a 70 percent increase from last year — and reported an 81 percent increase in Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC) and 10 percent increase in credit cards. Overall, our total loans to members increased by 28 percent.
As the face and voice of Wescom, our team members have consistently been a component to our growth and success. We have found that positive change starts with our team members. In 2022, we emphasized “Team” as one of the Credit Union’s Strategic Priorities by supporting and uplifting our team members. Starting in 2022, all team members had the opportunity to take two days off each year to bolster their mental health and reduce fatigue through self-care. Understanding that diversity makes us stronger, we launched the new Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) required training for all 848 Wescom team members to further the foundation for a diverse culture at Wescom. As we embraced and continued our DEIB initiatives in 2022, Wescom observed Juneteenth as a holiday for the second consecutive year. Positioning Wescom as an employer of choice is important to us and by attracting and retaining talent, we can positively impact the quality of service we provide to our membership.
Working toward our vision of becoming Southern California’s premier banking partner, we’re making a difference in the lives of our members, team members, and communities we serve not only for today, but for tomorrow.The Wescom Foundation really took the lead when it came to deepening and expanding our commitment to building better communities in Southern California. Its Social Justice Fund contributions increased to $45,000 across five high-impact organizations that support community transformation. Recognizing that many Southern Californians still face food insecurity and struggle to meet their basic needs, the Credit Union and our members donated a combined $100,000 to local food banks. We continued to include members in our giving efforts and donated more than $214,000 to support humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine. In 2022, the Wescom Foundation invested more into our communities than ever before totaling more than $3.8 million granted to non-profit partners since the Foundation was founded.
As we continue to expand our engagement with the UCLA community, Wescom was named the Official Banking Partner of the UCLA Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars in 2022. Through this new partnership, the Credit Union will collaborate with the Center to develop financial literacy programs designed to meet the unique needs of international students and scholars who may be unfamiliar with the U.S. banking system, emphasizing the importance of understanding the U.S credit system and how to best manage their finances during their time abroad. Now as the Official Banking Partner of the UCLA Athletics, UCLA Alumni Association, UCLA Campus Life and Recreation, UCLA Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars, and the Rose Bowl Stadium — and the Official Partner of UCLA Financial Wellness Program, UCLA Staff Assembly, and Associated Students of UCLA (ASUCLA) — Wescom’s commitment to the Bruin community is strong. In September 2022, we sponsored Serve LA 2022, a city-wide day of service organized by the UCLA and USC Volunteer Centers. To further showcase our commitment to building better lives for Bruins, we partnered with Bruin student-athlete and women's softball star, Maya Brady. This was game-changing for Wescom as it marked our first student-athlete partnership since the Name Image and Likeness (NIL) rules were enacted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in 2021. Maya promoted Wescom products and services on social media, at UCLA Athletics events, and on Wescom service channels as a new Wescom member. In 2022, we recorded a 75 percent increase in total UCLA members. Now, nearly 84 percent are Wescom Bruin Edge and Choice Visa® Credit Card holders.
Working toward our vision of becoming Southern California’s premier banking partner, we’re making a difference in the lives of our members, team members, and communities we serve not only for today, but for tomorrow. As a Credit Union founded by its members whose values aligned with each other’s, we’ve learned that when we grow together, we can do so much.
* $5 paper statement fee is waived with eStatements and is assessed to a Regular Savings Account for printing and mailing a paper statement. A $3.00 Excessive Withdrawal Fee may be charged to your Savings Account for each withdrawal or transfer in excess of four (4) within a calendar quarter.
** Zelle® and the Zelle® related marks are wholly owned by Early Warning Services, LLC and are used herein under license.
Insured by NCUA