Libro posts billion-dollar growth for second consecutive year

Libro Credit Union posts record growth of more than $1 billion for the second year in a row

IT’S ANOTHER RECORD year for Libro Credit Union, which announced over the weekend that they recorded a second-straight year of billion-dollar growth.

Last year, the London-based credit union’s portfolio grew by $1.3 billion to a record $10.9 billion ― growth of 14 per cent over the previous year. That follows 2020’s record year, when Libro’s portfolio recorded 12.8 per cent growth of $1.1 billion.

“Our momentum is good,” writes Libro president Steve Bolton, in the credit union’s annual report. “We’re moving forward with our values close to our hearts and, as the world changes round us so quickly, we believe we’re getting it right.”

Story Continues Below


Among the highlights of Libro’s annual report was growth of more than 6,400 members (“Libro Owners” in the credit union’s parlance), including 824 locally-owned businesses, bringing the total number of members to over 110,000. To those members, the credit union distributed nearly $14 million in profit shares, investment shares and dividends.

“These accomplishments happened in year when nearly every aspect of how we live, work and connect is rapidly changing,” reads their annual report. “Libro and everyone around us is adapting to, and impacted by, the uncertainty connected to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to protect both health and prosperity.”

Libro posts billion-dollar growth for second consecutive year Libro Financial ServicesLibro Credit Union president, Steve Bolton

Libro praised its performance through a financially challenging year. “From an economic perspective, there continues to be significant stress on revenue and profitability for many businesses, stress on income for families, and reduced spending due to both lower income and reduced access to goods and services,” they wrote. “In the southwestern Ontario market, the unemployment rate continued to decline, housing demand continued to grow, market supply remained tight, and the average sales price for a home in southwestern Ontario continued to rise.”

Among Libro’s major moves in 2021 was their shift towards ‘responsible investing’ ― making them “the first Canadian credit union to exclusively offer responsible investing options for all new mutual fund accounts,” the bank says.

“This bold statement came in response to Libro owners asking for change,” they added. “We know people want strong financial returns and to know their money is being used to create positive change.”

Story Continues Below


Libro believes that moving towards responsible investing (RI), a trend that has grown in popularity across the financial world in response to a growing focus on corporate ESG practices, is the smart long-term play, and the evidence thus far has borne that out: studies have found that Canadian RI funds outperform the benchmark more often than not. Credit unions like Libro have been among the most enthusiastic advocates of responsible investing and have been quicker to shift their portfolios in that direction than major banking institutions.

“We know we need to grow in the right way, for the right reasons,” said Bolton. “We want to be bigger so we can make more impact on the people around us, especially in our chosen key areas of financial resilience: housing; local food accessibility; and employment.”

Looking ahead, Libro does still see some uncertainty on the horizon. Interest rate hikes, they said, “may lead to some moderation in the pace of growth.

Story Continues Below


“We also expect to see continued indications of recovery, and the gradual easing of supply chain disruptions and re-balancing of supply and demand pressures and continued challenge in attracting and retaining talent in certain industries,” Libro added.

“We are living in a period with an unprecedented pace of change, with opportunities and challenges presented by economic and societal impacts of the pandemic, accelerated digital advances, and changing customer expectations,” they wrote. “To remain strong and relevant in the future, we are increasing investment in digital development to utilize technology to make better, faster decisions for the benefit of owners.” Libro posts billion-dollar growth for second consecutive year Libro Financial Services Kieran Delamont

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap