VANCOUVER, B.C. and MISSISSAUGA, Ont. (3/20/09)--Central 1 CU, a Canadian central banking facility and trade association for credit unions, posted $29.8 million in net income for 2008. Central 1 was formed on July 1 when CU Central of British Columbia (B.C. Central) and Credit Union Central of Ontario (Ontario Central) merged (Marketwire March 19). The combined institution serves nearly 200 credit unions in the two Canadian provinces. In 2008, net income rose 22% from the record $22.4 million, posted alone by B.C. Central in 2007. “This demonstrates the benefits of consolidating the systems’ second-tier organizations,” said Don Rolfe, Central 1 president/CEO. Central 1 serves as the primary source of borrowed liquidity for credit unions, and facilitates access to other liquidity sources such as Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.’s mortgage-backed securities programs. Under Central 1’s management, member credit unions sold $1.8 billion in assets through those programs in 2008. The financial margin grew to $47.1 million from $31.1 million in 2007, reflecting higher net interest spreads and the impact of the merger. Total assets exceeded $8.5 billion at year-end, up from $8.1 billion--or $5.7 billion for B.C. Central, and $2.4 billion for Ontario Central--at the end of 2007. Central 1 paid a dividend at an annualized rate of 5.76 % for the first half of 2008, and at an annualized rate of 4.13% for the second half, in line with its policy of paying a dividend equivalent to twice the average 90-day Treasury Bill rate.