Tri-City growth prompts new locations
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Numerica Credit Union is opening two new branches in Kennewick this year.
The company experienced tremendous growth in 2016, with loans growing by more than $224 million and deposit accounts by more than $175 million.
The Spokane-based Numerica, which also serves northern Idaho and the Wenatchee Valley, saw an increase across the region—but especially the Tri-City area.
“In the Tri-Cities we saw 28 percent growth pertaining to the loans net of allowance, as well as in deposits,” said Andy Stirling, vice president of Central Washington branches. “That’s why,” Stirling said, “Numerica is thrilled to provide members with two more branches this year.”
“Additionally, Numerica has expanded our presence in business lending and have staff in a temporary office until we can start a major remodel of our (Kennewick Avenue) branch,” Stirling said. “The remodel, which will begin later this year, will allow for convenient member service in one centralized location.”
The Kennewick Avenue branch opened in December 2004 and was the first branch established in the Tri-Cities. It serves as a mini-headquarters for the Tri-City region.
The Pasco branch opened in 2007 inside the Walmart off of Road 68. In 2010, Numerica merged with School Employees Federal Credit Union (SECU), which helped lead to a presence in Richland.
“We have been working on expanding our presence in the Tri-Cities for over five years, adding staff and working on new locations,” Stirling said. “In 2014, Numerica opened a new branch in Richland off of Queensgate. This was the first branch model in the Tri-Cities which showcased our new branch design.”
The color-scheme—lime green and navy—aligns perfectly with the Seahawks, Stirling said. He described the open floor plan as “financial modern.” A lobby manager is present to greet people and direct traffic. Customers can use one of several iPads to log into their accounts and deposit checks if they need to make a quick transaction and don’t need to speak with a teller.
“We’ve done away with the traditional teller rows and we’ve created pods. So you see our refreshment bar and service representatives ready to greet you, and they’re sitting at two-person pods as well,” he said.
“We want people to come in and feel welcome—take care of their banking in the comfort of our home. Not all the designs are going to be exactly the same, but it’s a big open branch,” Stirling said.
While the ambiance is open and airy, there will still be private offices, called hoteling stations, for customers to discuss loans and finances. ATM machines also will be available 24 hours a day for customers to deposit and withdraw money, as well as make loan payments.
Numerica started more than 75 years ago when railroads were expanding in the Northwest and workers wanted to pool their resources together to support one another. Back then, it was called Spokane Railway Credit Union. The name stuck around until the turn of the century when it adopted a more inclusive name. It also expanded to serve more areas in Eastern Washington and northern Idaho. In 2000, Numerica merged with North Central Credit Union, gaining about 8,000 members and three branches in the Wenatchee Valley area.
Over the last six years, Numerica has grown membership by 54 percent and increased its assets by 70 percent. As of June 20, Numerica reported 132,854 members. And with the stability in the Tri-City market, coupled with career and real estate opportunities, Stirling expects membership to keep climbing.
“The Tri-Cities is an amazing combination of farmers markets, wineries and breweries, agriculture, education and so much more,” he said. “Since Numerica is a not-for-profit credit union owned by our members, we are able to be nimble and responsive to their needs. The diversity of industries in our region allows for Numerica to protect and advance our members’ financial health by offering better rates, lower fees, innovation solutions to reduce stress and outstanding support.”
Numerica has 470 employees, with almost 50 located in the Tri-Cities among the branches. Stirling said the credit union plans to hire about 10 people after the Southridge and Gage Boulevard locations open.
“As we continue to grow and prove the Tri-Cities is high potential for future growth, we continue to see resources (from Numerica). I anticipate us having more back office opportunities for our employees—depending on what our members need—we could have future branch growth,” said Stirling. “The sky is the limit.”
This article originally appeared in the Tri-Cities Journal of Business in July 2017.
*Updated information since this story originally published.