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LANHAM, Md.-Being proactive with the select employee groups IR Federal Credit Union shed in its conversion to a TIP charter, IR FCU President and CEO David Bunch says, definitely helped the transition. “It was a very nice and smooth transition from a multiple SEG-based charter to the TIP-based charter,” IR FCU CEO David Bunch said. “Naturally, there was some loss” when the credit union changed fields of membership from one that included both federal government and private sector SEGs in the D.C. area to a TIP-trade, industry, or profession-charter serving civilian federal government employees in a 40-county swath from Virginia to Pennsylvania. To ease former SEGs about the switch, Bunch explained that the credit union contacted all the SEG sponsors that IR FCU would be losing by phone, and again in writing, about what the institution was doing, why, and how the credit union could help. IR FCU also informed SEG sponsors of other potential credit unions to form relationships with and told area credit unions that might be interested in picking them up of the SEGs it would be losing. “We haven’t left anybody in the dark. We haven’t left anybody hanging, which is important with a credit union,” Bunch said. He added that being “proactive in the communities with non-federal employee groups” was key to IR FCU’s smooth transition. There were a number of reasons IR FCU explored the TIP charter option. Bunch said, first, the credit union decided to get back to its roots, which were in the Internal Revenue Service back in 1935. Additionally, during the 1990s, while IR FCU was adding all its SEGs, growth was stagnant. “You have to grow the root to grow the tree.” Bunch philosophized. “As much as our charter changed, it didn’t follow up with growth.” With the new TIP charter, IR FCU should have plenty of opportunity for growth. Its FOM grew from 60,000 potential members from its various SEGs to around one million federal civilian employees in the prescribed area. IR FCU management finds it “very exciting.to be back home,” Bunch said. They are still looking into branding changes and whether a new name will be necessary. The full service credit union has five branches currently, of which only one offers public access because the others are in federal buildings. While the credit union has no new branches planned in the next couple of years, it will work to leverage its online services to act as a more convenient, virtual branch. IR FCU is banking on the recent college graduates entering the federal workforce having been raised in a computer savvy environment, Bunch said. Another exciting part for Bunch is greater ability to steal consumers away from banks. “I just think credit unions are the way to go,” he emphasized. [email protected]

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