The tributes pouring in last month on a milestone achievement–100 years in operation–have stopped, and now the $17 million St. Anne Credit Union of New Bedford, Mass. faces a challenge: build loan volume and reduce the red ink, a task shared by many small CUs.
Elizabeth Gatenby, the CEO of St. Anne, the third oldest CU in the state, acknowledges the job ahead may be tough given the competition but her CU expects to try new services it lacks like mobile banking.
Gatenby and other leaders of St. Anne were roundly toasted by state and local leaders in ceremonies last month for persevering in Massachusetts’ historic port “as a company that stayed in the city and remained active by demonstrating quality service to the public for a hundred years.”
New Bedford Mayor Scott W. Lang officiated at the celebration with Gov. Devil Patrick sending a plaque on behalf of the commonwealth, along with tributes from state senators and representatives. Gatenby and other CU officials were presented citations at a city council meeting. "It's nice to be recognized," said Jan E. Dabrowski, chairman of the CU. The CU, which was first housed in a church bearing the CU name later switching to community charter, has 2,400 members.
Gatenby, who has been at the CU helm 25 years, said St. Anne lost $51,000 in 2010 and $43,000 through the first half of 2011 but remains hopeful about the yearend. The CU’s net worth has been in the 10.75% range. The credit union has five employees. “We were six but we downsized,” she said.
At one time, St. Anne handled the business of five French-speaking churches in the city later expanding to Bristol and Plymouth counties.