Briefcase

RCU assets grew nearly 19% in ‘19

From its 1964 founding, Royal Credit Union took 35 years for its assets to grow to $447 million.

But in last year alone, the Eau Claire-based credit union saw $447 million in asset growth, according to its annual report.

That 19% growth helped RCU’s assets surpass $2.8 billion in 2019.

The credit union’s annual report released earlier this month highlights how last year’s strong performance can help members weather economic hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

“This has become very important during the economic ups and downs caused by the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. 2019’s growth helped set up a rock-solid foundation for Royal to continue serving our members throughout any economic road bumps,” president and CEO Brandon Riechers wrote in the report.

RCU’s financial stability also was highlighted in the report, focusing on its net worth ratio. The National Credit Union Administration considers institutions with net worth ratios of 7% or more to be “well-capitalized.” RCU ended last year with a 10% ratio.

Local companies

lauded on Earth Day

Wisconsin’s statewide energy efficiency program named two Chippewa Valley companies among 13 winners of awards for reducing energy waste.

Focus on Energy gave Energy Efficiency Excellence Awards to Cascades Tissue Group in Eau Claire and Bright Wood Corp. in Menomonie.

“This year’s winners represent the groups across Wisconsin making smart energy decisions that will bring lasting change to Wisconsin. They are lowering their energy costs while making the state’s economy more globally competitive,” Erinn Monroe-Nye, Focus on Energy program director, said in a news release.

Cascades’ integration of strategic energy management practices as well as capital projects including the switch to LED lighting helped it secure the award.

Bright Wood completed six energy efficiency projects at its Menomonie facility in 2019, which are expected to reduce the company’s annual electricity use by 100,109 kilowatt hours, according to Focus on Energy.

The awards were announced on April 22 – Earth Day.

Short Takes

• Previously working for Charter Bank for four years in roles of credit analyst and business banker, Sam Caswell recently returned to be the Eau Claire-based financial institution’s new senior credit analyst. Between May 2019 and this March, Caswell had worked for BMO Harris Bank and Commerce Bank in the Twin Cities before opting to return to the smaller community bank in Eau Claire.

From staff reports