Members Rewarded For Years of Loyalty As CU Turns 50

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Finance Center Credit Union wanted to thank its members on the occasion of its 50th anniversary-and it wanted something more than just another special loan or CD rate.

The answer: a dividend payment of $2 per year of membership, up to $100; which added up to a payout of $845,000.

Michael Duffy, Finance Center's president and CEO, said the credit union wanted a way to give value back; to show members they are not "just" members, but shareholders.

"We wanted to reward loyalty, not just balances," he said. "We looked at several different complex formulas. We tried to tie in loans, savings, the real return on a dividend, and so forth, but it didn't do what we wanted to do for our 50th anniversary."

The reason why Finance Center CU is successful, Duffy continued, is loyalty. He said it was important to show members they are equal shareholders of a cooperative, regardless of whether their balance is $100 or $500,000.

FCCU sent a voucher to each member in good standing, along with a personal thank you letter from Duffy. Members must return the voucher, and the dividend then will be credited to the account of their choosing. Members have two months to respond.

"We did it that way, rather than just putting the credit in their account, in order to get the impact across in a personal manner," he explained. "Some people wouldn't even notice if we just credited them."

Two-thousand of FCCU's 37,000 members showed up for the 50th anniversary party. The credit union announced the dividend on Oct. 12.

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