Banking companies were not alone in reporting improved 2010 financial results.

A growing number of big, troubled credit unions are also reporting positive income for last year, and others are slashing their losses, more proof of an improving economy. Kinecta Federal Credit Union in Manhattan Beach, Calif.; Wescom Central Credit Union in Pasadena, Calif.; and North Island Credit Union in San Diego were among those that returned to the black in 2010 after suffering losses a year earlier.

Keith Pipes, the executive vice president of lending and financial services at Wescom, said its turnaround was due to improvement in its loan portfolio rather than to an effort to close branches, lay off workers and trim other expenses the past two years.

"I think we have established a sustainable level of profitability," Pipes told the Credit Union Journal in an interview Thursday.

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