FITCHBURG -- Workers' Credit Union said strong demand for real-estate loans and new deposits helped it achieve a number of financial milestones for 2012.

"Our results for the year were strong because we continue to do what is right for our members," said Doug Petersen, president and CEO of Workers' Credit Union.

The community credit union's assets grew by 10 percent, to $913 million, due to strong demand for mortgages.

"We continue to see homeowners refinance and members who want to be mortgage-free when they retire take advantage of our unique Finish Line Refi program," Petersen said.

"What is very encouraging is the volume of new mortgages, too, which tells us that the housing market continues to improve," he said.

It was also noted that Banker & Tradesman designated the credit union the number-one mortgage lender in its service area, based on the number of mortgages.

Total loan volume for the year, which includes all products, was $307 million, representing 9,708 loans, which pushed net loans to $678 million, a 3.9 percent increase over the previous year. Its loan-to-share ratio was 104 percent.

"Our primary mission is to lend money to our members, whether it is for a home, a vehicle or helping a student attend college," Petersen said, adding that the credit union has lent more than $18.2 million in student loans.

Loan volume growth was due in part to a 3 percent gain in new members, which makes Workers' the second-largest credit union in the state with 70,401 members.


Deposits also grew from $616 million to $650 million.

"Our online-only cuSave savings account, which pays a high interest rate, grew by 53 percent," Petersen said.

The Investment & Insurance Center also increased total assets under management, to more than $147.4 million. According to Petersen, investors are taking advantage of annuities' ability to generate income in retirement.

Because of strong deposits and lending, members' equity grew to $122 million, or 12.89 percent of assets -- twice the regulatory minimum. Its return on assets was 1.32 percent.

Petersen said the credit union is a community credit union, and has carried out that mission by giving generously to a variety of community-based nonprofit organizations.

Petersen thanked the board of directors, managers, employees and especially members for their continued support during a very active year for the credit union.