MADISON, Wis. (12/10/14)--Members benefit from being owners of their credit unions in ways that go beyond lower loan rates and higher savings rates. Not-for-profit credit unions often share the fruits of their success by distributing thousands, and sometimes millions, in extraordinary dividends to their members.
As the year comes to a close, a number of credit unions already have announced the patronage payments--a timely bonus for members during the holiday season.
More than 500,000 members of Sacramento, Calif.-based Golden 1 CU today will begin receiving their portions of the $8.4 billion-asset credit union's Member Giveback Distribution. The $18 million dividend could be the largest ever distributed by a California credit union, The Sacramento Bee learned from Tina Ramos-Ingold, public affairs and consumer advocacy specialist at the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues (Dec. 9).
The bonus is based on 10% of loan interest paid and 10% of savings dividends earned between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, with a distribution minimum of $5 and a maximum of $1,000 for each account.
Goldenwest FCU, Ogden, Utah, with $1 billion in assets, announced its year-end dividend will top $1 million for the first time, bringing the total of member bonuses to $6.87 million over the past 11 years. President/CEO Kerry Wahlen noted that members of USU Charter CU, Logan, which merged with Goldenwest last year, also are eligible for the dividend.
Summit CU, with $2 billion in assets, calls its annual member dividend a Cash Boomerang. In November, the Madison, Wis.-based credit union distributed nearly $1.5 million to more than 30,000 qualified members. "Sharing in the success of the credit union is fundamental to cooperative principles," said President/CEO Kim Sponem.
A $5 million special patronage dividend will be distributed Jan. 5 by Wright Patt CU, Beavercreek, Ohio. The $2.8 billion-asset credit union has given more than $29 million back to its members over the years.
For long-standing members of Founders FCU, Lancaster, S.C., the Dec. 1 loyalty dividend included a bit more. The $1.7 billion-asset credit union added $20 to the patronage payments of qualifying members who had 20 years or more of membership.
Extraordinary dividends result from credit unions' structure, not asset size. On its website, $49 million-asset Irving (Texas) City Employees FCU announced its board approved a 1.306% APY bonus dividend on regular shares/savings and IRA shares/savings and a 17% finance charge rebate.