Credit unions around the country provided members with numerous benefits as the year comes to a close. Dividends, fee waivers, and support for local charities are just some of the ways credit unions have given back and said “Thank you” to their members.
“Dividends are the epitome of the credit union difference,” said Jim Nussle, CUNA president/CEO. “Rather than serve Wall Street investors, we return our earnings to our member-owners, ensuring that their money can go toward their financial well-being.
CEFCU, Peoria, Ill., made a $20 million Extraordinary Dividend to members this year, making it a total of $380 million to members over the past 22 years.
Matt Mamer, president/CEO of CEFCU, says that when the board makes its end-of-year calculations and there is extra money, “the board feels strongly that is our members’ money.”
Tyndall Federal Credit Union, Panama City, Fla., dropped anywhere between $50 and $400 in more than 50,000 qualifying members’ accounts, for a total dividend of $11 million. This year marked Tyndall’s biggest single giveback, and brings the total to $28 million back to members over the past three years.
Tyndall also plans to waive all account maintenance fees starting Jan. 1.
“People across the Panhandle have dealt with a lot these past years. A category 5 hurricane. A global pandemic. Economic uncertainty. But despite all these challenges, our members have been resilient, and our credit union has stayed strong. This is Tyndall’s way of saying thank you for your membership.” said Jim Warren, Tyndall president/CEO.
Wright-Patt Credit Union (WPCU) gave back $10.5 million back to members in the form of a Special Patronage Dividend. This is the largest amount WPCU has ever returned to its membership for a calendar year. Since 2008, WPCU has given back $94 million to its members via yearly dividends.
“As a cooperative, we strive to maximize the benefits our members can take advantage of,” said Tracy Szarzi-Fors, vice president of marketing and business development at WPCU. “Giving more back to our members means they have more opportunities for healthy finances.”
Ascend Federal Credit Union in Tullahoma, Tenn. returned $7 million to members, making a total of $99 million since 2004.
“At Ascend, our members are owners and we fulfill our non-profit mission by returning to them a significant portion the proceeds generated by our well-run credit union,” said Caren Gabriel, Ascend president and CEO. “I also can’t think of a better way to culminate our 70th anniversary year by making the holidays brighter for our members and showing our gratitude for being entrusted with serving their financial needs.”
Educators Credit Union announced a $4.9 million Member Loyalty payout for 2021, bringing their total payouts to $18.1 million over past five years.
This year marks Educators’ biggest Member Loyalty payout to date, to thank members for their “commitment and loyalty to Educators Credit Union,” according to the announcement.
Goldenwest Federal Credit Union of Ogden, Utah, gave a Bonus Dividend of $3 million. They have distributed more than $20.4 million over last 18 years.
“Ongoing member loyalty is a key factor in allowing us to return in excess of $3 million to our members,” commented Kerry Wahlen, Goldenwest president/CEO. “The bonus dividend program is one of the top benefits our members receive by choosing Goldenwest Credit Union as their primary financial institution.”
Western Division Federal Credit Union, Williamsville, N.Y., paid members more than $1 million in dividends. It has paid back more than $10 million in such dividends to members since 2003.
“[W]e are most thankful for our members and the trust they have placed in us. We hope this Patronage Dividend helps to make the holidays brighter and shows the value and benefits of being part of our financial cooperative are real and significant,” said Robert Harms, president/CEO of Western Division.
West Virginia Central Federal Credit Union, Parkersburg, W.V., is donating funds to a members’ local charity of choice when they refinance their auto loans.