President and CEO
We finally saw the pandemic recede in 2022, allowing space for other topics. The major news event of 2022 was inflation, peaking at 9.1% in June before settling at just above 7% by year's end. This affected everyone, but those with fixed incomes or living paycheck to paycheck were particularly vulnerable due to rising costs of essentials like food and energy. The extra savings that many households had after the COVID stimulus distribution was used to handle everyday expenses.
Inflation had another impact: higher loan and deposit rates. Members saw attractive Certificats of Deposit rates (CD) offered through 2022, much to their relief after years of anemic returns.
Despite inflation and higher rates, the credit union experienced exceptional loan demand in 2022. We issued nearly 6,000 new loans totaling $325 million, with home equity lines of credit and vehicle loans driving growth. Loans propelled our assets forward by almost $100 million as we strived to meet demand. Savers also saw a glimmer of hope as deposit rates, primarily Certificates of Deposit, rose swiftly in 2022. Deposits ended up increasing by around $50 million in the same timeframe.
Net income was a respectable $2.7 million, slightly above our target. This included a $900,000 charge for participating in some lower-rate auto loans, anticipating rate increases through 2022 and into 2023. Our net worth grew from 8.09% to 9.01% over the year.
Staffing continued to be a challenge due to a tight labor market. Nonetheless, we made key investments in operations and technology talent. A major issue was high traffic in our contact center, which saw heavy demand in 2022 and had wait times that stretched over an hour at times. We've doubled down on our work in this area and seen significant improvements in contact center wait times. We expect this to continue into 2023.
Last year, we introduced new programs and services. Most significantly, we introduced state-of-the-art Online and Mobile banking that replaced outdated systems. In addition to appearing identical on any device -- from mobile phones to tablets or laptops -- we can update Online and Mobile banking more quickly and easily synch it with other products. With over 200 enhancements available today, expect more features by year's end, such as refinements to business banking. We also launched the Flash Cash personal loan program. It is a smarter alternative to high-cost options like payday loans, title loans, and pawn shops and requires no credit report.
Finally, our collaboration with Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) partners led to our participation in the innovative Washington Flex Fund Program, supporting small businesses recovering from COVID. We hope to again join our partners in 2023 when the new Flex Fund Program opens again.
Overall, 2022 marked another robust year for our credit union, maintaining our commitment to serving our members and remaining attentive to their needs. I extend my gratitude to the board, supervisory committee, management, and O Bee team for their unwavering dedication. I am looking forward to 2023.
President, and CEO
2023 Annual Member
Reflecting on 2022, there were clearly challenges for each of us. The pandemic left an indelible mark on our lives, affecting us personally and professionally in many ways. Nevertheless, O Bee remained unwavering in its commitment to serving our members with compassion and integrity. We continued to offer the financial products and services our members have come to rely on. We proactively developed and implemented innovative tools to enhance the overall member experience.
O Bee successfully maintained its financial strength and stability in a challenging year. This is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our employees, the contributions of our volunteers, and, most of all, the ongoing support of our members. Together, we emerged stronger than ever before.
As we move towards the future, we are committed to our core mission: improving the financial well-being of our members and making a lasting, positive impact on our community. We recognize that the road ahead may still present challenges. Still, we are determined to face this head-on, armed with the knowledge, experience, and resilience we have gained through overcoming adversity.
I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all those who have stood by us during these times and pledge to continue our dedication to excellence in all aspects of our organization. Together, we will foster a sense of unity and collaboration as we work towards achieving our shared goals of a more prosperous future for all.