Charter Oak Credit Union has reported 2018 net income of more than $8.23 million, a gain of 33.7 percent from year-end 2017. The credit union, in the latest report to its federal regulator, also said that its membership had grown during the year by 5,845, to 74,149 members.

Assets at the Waterford-based credit union stood at nearly $1.2 billion on Dec. 31, 2018, up $74 million from the year before. Charter Oak has 16 branches in New London and Windham counties, including offices in Mystic and Pawcatuck.

Total loans and leases amounted to $886 million, an increase of $33 million during 2018, and total shares and deposits grew by $64.4 million, to nearly $876 million.

Charter Oak's fourth-quarter call report to the National Credit Union Administration shows that the institution's financial performance last year benefited from higher income from loans and investments, and a slight drop in total non-interest expenses. Those expenses included employee wages and benefits of $18.8 million, an increase of $403,000 year-over-year, but there were declines in other costs of doing business, such as office operations, and promotional expenses. The full-time staff rose by five positions, to 207.

Investment income alone was up 62 percent, to $3.2 million.

On the loan front, the major component of the credit union's portfolio — mortgages and lines of credit secured by residential properties — declined by a little less than $5 million in 2018, to $511 million, compared with $516 million in 2017. There were 6,348 of the one- to four-family residential loans last year, compared with 6,297 a year earlier. 

Looking at overall real estate loans and lines of credit, including commercial loans secured by real estate, the credit union granted 989 such loans in 2018, compared with 1,099 in 2017. The value of real estate loans granted in 2018 dropped to $139 million, compared with $161.8 million the year before, a decline of 14 percent. 

The most notable increase was in the category of vehicle loans, which rose to more than $198 million, compared with $167 million in 2017 — an increase of 18.7 percent. There were more than 11,000 such loans in effect at the end of 2018, and the biggest gain was in new vehicle loans, which rose to nearly $108 million, compared with $79 million at year-end 2017.

With the addition of net income from 2018, Charter Oak's undivided earnings stood at $103,174,520. 

Credit union union officials will discuss these results and other matters at the annual meeting for members on April 25.

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