Rogue Credit Union growth continues

Rogue Credit Union has sustained double-digit growth since 2014, which can be interpreted any number of ways. Nonetheless, membership, deposit and loan expansion is a pleasant surprise for CEO Gene Pelham.

"In the almost 40 years I've been in this industry, I have never seen sustained growth like we're seeing at the credit union," Pelham said.

Since May 2014, the Medford-based credit union's membership has maintained annualized growth of 10 percent.

"Compared to our population, we shouldn't be seeing that," he said. "But we are."

In the most recent quarter, ending Sept. 30, membership blasted past the 100,000 mark to 107,657, a 14.8 percent growth rate, in the six southwestern Oregon counties where Rogue Credit Union operates.

RCU's deposits grew 20.2 percent year-over-year to more than $1.1 billion from $918 million a year ago. 

Third-quarter loan growth of 13.1 percent exceeded last year's 11.1 percent annualized rate — as well as the general credit union rate of 10 percent — with total loans exceeding $932.2 million, up from $832.2 million a year ago.

During the latest quarter, Rogue Credit Union posted net income of more than $13.5 million. The institution's total assets soared 22.3 percent to more than $1.24 billion from $1.04 billion a year earlier, when the growth rate was 14.4 percent.

Regulators require credit unions to maintain a 7 percent net-worth ratio, and Rogue's net-worth ratio remained above well above that level at 9.4 percent. The 7 percent threshold is considered a rainy-day fund.

"We know at 9 percent we'd be able to sustain ourselves if another financial crisis hit like the one we saw in 2008, 2009 and 2010," Pelham said.

He said lending on both new and used vehicles has remained healthy, accounting for nearly 48 percent of the institution's loan portfolio.

At the end of the quarter, Rogue Credit Union had more than $446 million worth of auto loans on its books, up 15.7 percent from $385.5 million a year ago. The average outstanding balance on the auto loans is $13,767, up 4.5 percent from $13,177 in 2015.

"There's an ongoing concern about flattening sales in the auto industry," Pelham said. "But we haven't seen a slowdown in auto loans, whether new or used."

— Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or Follow him on Twitter at, on Facebook at

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