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Desert Valley’s President/CEO Eric Bruen, welcomes Solomon Rajaratnam as the new Director of Business Lending for Desert Valleys FCU. / Laura Austin Photo

Desert Valleys FCU expands local business lending

Desert Valleys Federal Credit Union Ridgecrest, CA — 

Desert Valleys Federal Credit Union is proud to announce the hiring of Mr. Solomon Rajaratnam as the new Director of Business Lending for Desert Valleys FCU. Mr. Rajaratnam brings more than 40 years of lending expertise to the local credit union through his experiences from previous financial institutions in the area. In addition to his extensive professional experience, Mr. Rajaratnam is a recognized and trusted business leader within the local Ridgecrest community dedicating time to serving on numerous local boards and committees – including his current service as an elected member of the Ridgecrest City Council.

Beginning in 2020, Desert Valleys championed local businesses within the community and their field of membership by providing loans through the Federal PPP program. After aiding over 100 businesses with efforts to remain open during the COVID19 Pandemic, Desert Valleys recognized the need to expand their local commercial lending options. 

Desert Valleys’s commitment to providing a unique, personal level of service – combined with Mr. Rajaratnam’s profound relationships with local businesses – intends to provide the community with a trusted lending partner to help Ridgecrest & surrounding areas access to grow. Over the next six months, Desert Valleys will expand current commercial lending options to include SBA, Micro Equipment Lending, and Commercial Property Loans. 

Desert Valleys FCU is a not-for-profit financial cooperative committed to serving the Ridgecrest, Trona, and surrounding Communities within our designated field of membership. Rooted deep in these communities, Desert Valleys has been an integral part of these areas for 77 years providing day-to-day financial services to members and decisive responses to life-altering events such as the emergency grants during the earthquakes and PPP loans during the pandemic stated above.

In a statement to The News Review on the banking system crisis, Bruen released the following statement. 

“The recent events at Silicon Valley Bank shed light on the importance of small regional institutions like Desert Valleys and, more directly, the credit union movement. This crisis was a creation of extremely low rates for too long, followed by an extreme rise in rates converting traditionally low-risk investments into liquidity chains on banks. Credit unions are designed to minimize risk; thus, most credit unions have minimal to no exposure to these risks. Credit unions represent only a marginal portion of the US Banking system (roughly 7%) and are required to hold 3.5 times the capital reserves in comparison to a bank. This provides more stability and safety for our members. In every fiscal crisis, from the tech bubble in 2000 to the Wall Street collapse in 2008, credit unions can stand tall and never take any form of bailout from the government. Credit unions have, for over a century, been the torchbearers of responsible fiscal management, and this crisis will reflect the same.”