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PORTSMOUTH, N.H. – On Sept. 30 2005, Service Credit Union reached $1 billion in assets, and has since surpassed 100,000 members. The key to Service’s success? “Our philosophy is basically to deliver to our members what they want when they want it and as quickly and efficiently as possible with little effort expected of them,” said Gordon Simmons, President/CEO. As if that wasn’t a tall enough order, the credit union serves a diverse field of membership, which includes most of the state of New Hampshire and military personnel around the world. To meet the needs of this geographically diverse group, Service operates eight domestic branches and 12 in Germany, as well as two contact centers that serve members by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Simmons said employees at all levels in branches and contact centers are empowered to approve and fund loans within 20 minutes, as well as waive fees, negotiate rates, and make whatever reasonable accommodations necessary to serve members. Service has also been quick to adopt new technology, being one of the first credit unions in the country to launch a Web site back in 1995. Simmons credits debit cards, online banking, shared branching and Andera’s online membership application service as technological services that have fueled growth. Early access to payday funds is also popular; the completely automated service is available to any member who receives direct deposit via ACH. All products and services are available worldwide, Simmons said, which is crucial for Service’s mobile FOM. The credit union offers rewards programs for military members, including additional discounts for soldiers and civilians stationed in combat “hot spots” like Iraq and Afghanistan. Service CU also donates considerable amounts to charitable causes, and even has dedicated a line item in the budget to provide for it. This past year, the credit union donated more than usual due to the many disasters at home and abroad, including the Asian tsunami, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and severe flooding in New Hampshire. In all, Service and its members have donated more than half a million dollars to disaster victims this year. The credit union also provides financial support to the military’s Fisher House project, which operates 25 locations on military bases in the U.S. and overseas. The Fisher House provides accommodations for the families of severely injured soldiers who must undergo lengthy hospital stays, and also assists the soldiers in rehabilitation. Service Credit Union was chartered on Jan. 27, 1957 and currently has 441 full-time equivalent employees. -

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