The 6,000-member, $59 million Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union in Bellevue, Wash., answered the call of a group of Vashon Island residents and business owners who decided they wanted a credit union to enable to them to better invest in their own community on the island in the middle of the sound.
The group, Capital United Vashon, had explored starting a CU on the island but concluded inviting an existing CU to start a branch would be their best approach.
Puget Sound Cooperative reported that since opening the branch on Vashon Island in March, the CU has opened 857 new member accounts, taken in more than $7.5 million in deposits and made almost $1.2 million in loans. The CU reported this additional activity has already had an impact.
“Due in part to the large influx of deposits from the Vashon branch the Board approved lowering the rate on our Mortgage loans by 0.25% on 15 years loans and by 0.125% on 30 year mortgages,” said PSCCU Vice President of Marketing and Business Development Shannon Ellis-Brock. “This is a good example of how money from the community is helping the community.”
The CU reported new island members have also reacted well.
“Establishing PSCCU on Vashon is a strong community statement recognizing we islanders do have a choice beyond the standard big banks,” said new PSCCU member Amy Gilman.
“I resented falling through the cracks as a customer when WAMU became Chase. They closed my children’s longtime accounts, took money out of my CD and the sloppiness of the changing of the guard meant watching my statement every month for new fees. I imagine PSCCU will treat me better,” Gilman said.
“I feel like we've literally put our money where our mouth is,” added fellow islander and new PSCCU member Jeff Hoyt.
“We've been vocal in decrying how our country has gotten into the mess it's in, and yet, we contribute to the problem by leaving our money in these huge institutions that are clearly a part of the problem," Hoyt said.
"To not take some kind of action seems rather hypocritical to me, so it feels great to take a significant sum out of B of A and walk it across the street,” he said.