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LANSING, Mich. – Fifty-three years after it was chartered to serve state employees, State Employees CU has been approved by the state Credit Union Division to extend its membership to anyone who lives, works, attends school or worships in a 28-county area, giving the $737 million CU the largest geographical community charter in Michigan. SECU SVP Marketing and Electronic Services Chris Day said there are about two million households among the 28 counties, and the approximate population of the area is 5 million. However, he said, “our potential membership is probably considerably less than that since we believe only about 28% of the population uses credit unions.” SECU currently has nearly 90,000 members. Prior to the recent FOM expansion approval, its FOM primarily included state employees, their families, and retirees. In addition, it served about 300 select employee groups such as Friends of Michigan and the Michigan Nature Association. SECU President/CEO Steve Winninger said, “Prior to this expansion, SECU’s field of membership was more restrictive and confusing to potential members. Now all of Mid-Michigan has another financial solutions option and the value of membership is open to the general public in our service area.” Day explained that membership confusion often arose over issues such as who exactly qualified as a state employee. Did that, for example, include people who were contracted for particular jobs at state agencies that would only last a few months? “It was very difficult. Sometimes a consumer would go to one of our indirect dealers, for example, to buy a car, and it was difficult for the dealer to determine how to qualify them for membership,” said Day. The 28 counties now counted in SECU’s FOM include: Allegan, Barry, Calhoun, Clare, Clinton, Eaton, Genesee, Gladwin, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia, Isabella, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Livingston, Mecosta, Midland, Missaukee, Montcalm, Muskegon, Osceola, Ottawa, Roscommon, Saginaw, Shiawassee, Van Buren and Washtenaw. Day said SECU is in the process of looking at the new market areas it can now serve to determine what kinds of branches to install and where to build them. He explained that the 28 counties include a variety of geographic rural and urban areas, and SECU plans to work with an outside consultant “to identify those areas that best align with our strategy. We’ll move into those areas first.” Day added that the expansion “will be a slow growth process. We rely on a lot of progressive technology such as home banking and ACH ability to transfer funds to and from other financials. In addition, potential members can join the credit union online. So it won’t necessarily be mandatory for us to have a branch in each of the 28 counties we now serve.” -

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