HIGH POINT, N.C. -- The end of the year brought a spate of dividend payouts by North Carolina credit unions including two noteworthy givebacks from two small CUs: a 9% rebate on both loans and deposits from the $8 million North State Telco Credit Union of High Point plus a first-time 4% return by the $19 million Carolina FCU of Cherryville.
"We've never given a bonus before after struggling for many years but now we're delighted we can," declared Carolina FCU,pPresident/CEO Donna Beringer. The credit union was originally a former single sponsor serving a now-merged trucking firm.
After several years of losses and small gains, Carolina FCU is "now stable" and is looking for $170,000 in 2007 net income, its best ever, said Beringer.
The turnaround, she said, is testament that a small CU can "cut expenses and, working with vendors, can come up with new products that meet member needs." The CU, which had Carolina Freight, now Arkansas Best as its single sponsor, currently has 3,100 members in 49 states, she said.
Carolina FCU is giving its members a 4% dividend bonus and a 4% interest rebate.
"We are not involved in any expansion right now so we thought it would be best to return the money to our members," said Beringer.
Meanwhile, North State Telco said it would be calculating its year-end rebate "based on 9% of the interest earned on member deposits and 9% of the interest paid by members in a year,"
Patti Weber, manager of North State, said the rebate was bolstered in 2007 by a 0% delinquency rate.
The treasurer of the High Point CU, Jon Cage, said the rebate program represents a positive giveback to members, adding, "we feel like if we're holding on to enough capital in reserve, there's no reason to hang on to the rest of the money."
Elsewhere, the $110 million Champion CU of Canton said it is paying back $500,000 to its members in the form of a 2% bonus dividend on savings for the month of December and a 10% interest rebate on all consumer and mortgage loans in 2007.
"We feel like this is going back to the true philosophy of credit unions," said a spokesman. "We hope every year is as successful as 2007 and we can continue the bonus dividend and interest rebate for many years to come."
The CU said all of its members will get the 2% bonus on their savings and about 2,500 will receive a rebate check.
The $5 million Lithium FCU in Bessemer City said it, too, would pay a rebate of 4% calculated on interest earned on deposits and of the interest paid on loans. "This is the second year in a row that a rebate has been paid back to its members," said Lithium.