Spring 2013 CEO Message
Mary Beth Wilcher, CEO
"Credit Unions are Financial Cooperatives Dedicated to Serving the Needs of Their Members"
I recently attended a credit union conference where I was reminded of how important it is to share the credit union story with everyone we meet. I’m dedicating this article to sharing the big-picture story with you all in the hopes that you’ll become a credit union advocate along with 95 million other credit union members.
The credit union story can be explained in many ways but the central theme remains the same. Credit unions were created and continue to exist for the purpose of “People Helping People.” Credit Unions are different from other financial institutions because they are member-owned financial cooperatives, where no one member has more voting privileges than another regardless of the size of your account. Credit unions return their earnings to the membership in the form of reduced interest rates on loans, higher dividend rates on deposits and increased services through cooperative shared branching, ATM networks, and other product and service related member benefits.
The Credit Union Board of Director’s are elected by the membership and are non-paid volunteers. As a credit union, we cannot leverage stock to raise capital but instead rely heavily on our loan and investment yields to return earnings to membership. Credit Unions are regulated by the National Credit Union Administration and are insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. The Erie FCU also provides additional private insurance coverage, through Excess Share Insurance Corporation.
The number of consumers choosing to belong to a credit union is growing. In 2012, the Erie Federal Credit Union opened 4,900 new member accounts; largely due to your member referrals. The recent purchase of the Glenwood School property will allow us to continue to expand and serve the growing membership by consolidating our support staff into one central location. It will also provide us with a convenient full-service branch that is centrally located. We are currently in the process of finalizing our plans for the property and have dedicated a webpage on the credit union website to display our progress. We’re excited for the next phase in our growth and development and thank you for your continued support and on-going advocacy of the Erie Federal Credit Union.