For the fourth straight year, we are pleased to be able to tell you that Wescom turned in a positive performance, posting net earnings of $18.49 million in 2013.
This performance can be attributed to several key factors, including increased loan growth, continued emphasis on increasing efficiencies, and our ongoing commitment to strengthening the Signature Experience for our members.
In 2013, providing an elevated level of service to our most engaged members was one of our primary objectives. In fact, we've come to call this approach "The Signature Experience."
We want the Signature Experience at the core of everything we do. This is why in 2013, we decided to introduce a new mission statement, one that better reflects our higher purpose of serving you, our member-owners.
"To absolutely excel in member engagement by delivering Signature Experiences."
Throughout the year we continued this focus by offering added value to our most active members through Signature Membership, which provides benefits such as expedited service, discounted rates, and fee-waivers. Moreover, this value reached more of you as the introduction of new loan offerings created additional ways for members to earn Signature Points and attain Signature Membership. This was especially true for our new members who achieved Signature Membership during their New Member Period — their first 90 days of joining the Credit Union — at a significantly increased rate compared to 2012.
In 2013, we saw substantial loan growth as we maintained competitive low interest rates while offering our members better access to loans through new consumer and real estate loan offerings. As a result we saw more members turn to Wescom to finance their auto loans, home loans, and lines of credit.
During the year, we incorporated new technology that improved our ability to identify and inform members of financial services and pre-approval offers that could help them with their individual financial needs. This included Loan Transfer, a new feature to our mobile banking app that allows pre-approved members to refinance their Auto Loan or transfer their Credit Card Balance to Wescom straight from their iPhone.
Additionally this year, our members took greater advantage of the full range of investment options we offer through Wescom Financial Services, as well as our full array of insurance options. We made getting insurance through Wescom Insurance Service even more accessible and convenient for our members by introducing fully-licensed branch representatives in the majority of our branches.
To make sure we are fulfilling the needs of our members and to continue to constantly improve, we regularly survey our members for feedback. Our survey this year again received industry-high ratings from members who would refer friends and family to Wescom. This rating is a key indicator of the health and vitality of our relationships with our members, and an important measure of our success.
As we move into our 80th year in 2014, we remain dedicated to the vision and values which were established by our 13 founding members in 1934. We remain committed to strengthening our relationships with our members and will continue to add value through increased convenience and accessibility to quality financial services that help our members create stronger financial futures.