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MIRAMAR, Fla. – Despite the folding of its airline sponsor, Eastern Financial Florida Credit Union has managed to thrive. The $1.6 billion CU was highlighted in a May 30 article in the Miami Herald for its successes despite the folding of Eastern Airlines in 1991. The credit union is one of the largest in Florida with more than 190,000 members, 900 SEGs and 22 branches across the state. Another 28 branches are scheduled to open by 2009. “Of this, there is no doubt: Eastern Financial Florida CU has far outlasted the company it was born to serve,” the article read. “(It) belongs to that universe of financial organizations that made the transition into a new era of prosperity,” the article said. “Credit unions today are in many respects no different from credit unions years ago,” said Stephen McGill, president/CEO. “Our niche is serving people of modest means.” The article goes on to quote Alex Sanchez, CEO of the Florida Bankers Association who said “Eastern is not a credit union anymore.” “They’re almost as big or bigger than most of the community banks in South Florida,” Sanchez told the publication. “They’re a billion-dollar, tax-exempt bank masquerading as a credit union.” McGill said “Credit unions serve members,” while banks “serve investors. I always say, if we have such a competitive advantage, why don’t they convert to a credit union charter?” Eastern Financial Florida CU’s highlights come on the heels of the America West Airlines/US Airways merger announcement. The $591 million Clearview FCU, which serves a large percentage of US Airways employees, said it will continue to help them on an individual basis as it has over the past few years.

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