We finally had a year with little impact from COVID-19 in 2022, but the year was not without its challenges. Towards the end of 2021, inflation started to climb and reached numbers we hadn’t seen in decades. This trend continued into 2022 and the year-over-year inflation rate peaked at 9.1% in June, the highest rate since 1981. In response to these inflation numbers, the Fed began raising interest rates in March and kept right on raising them throughout the year. We started 2022 with a Prime Interest Rate of 3.25% and ended the year at 7.50%.
The combination of high inflation and high interest rates has had a significant impact on peoples’ lives. High inflation makes it more difficult to afford almost anything…have you seen the cost of eggs? The hope is that higher interest rates will decrease consumer spending and lead to lower inflation over time. These high interest rates have certainly impacted Wasatch Peaks and our members. We are excited for our “savers” to finally be able to get a good rate of return on their deposits. The struggle is now with our members who need loans for homes, cars, education, or whatever, as loan rates have increased significantly over a very short period of time. I want you to all know that we look at market rates daily and try to provide the very best rates to our members…whether they are looking for a safe place to deposit money or an affordable place to borrow money.
Having said all that, Wasatch Peaks came through 2022 in very good financial shape. The Credit Union experienced substantial deposit and asset growth during 2022. Total deposits increased $55 million, while loans grew by nearly $110 million. Wasatch Peaks is a $571 million credit union, with 35,000 members and is currently the 11th largest credit union in Utah. Our net income for the year added $4.9 million to our reserves, bringing our total capital to $54.3 million or 9.72% of our assets. According to the guidelines set forth by the National Credit Union Association (NCUA), Wasatch Peaks is well capitalized and is a safe and sound financial institution.
I want to thank you all for being valued members of Wasatch Peaks. We have amazing volunteers and employees who care deeply about the credit union. Our promise is to keep working hard to improve the lives of our members. We couldn’t do what we do without you.