Technology has forced many members of the credit union industry to ponder the fate of the branching model, but few have been as bold as Patricia Zyma, president/CEO of Utilities Employees Credit Union. Her $1.1 billion credit union, headquartered in Wyomissing, Penn., has altogether abandoned the notion that branches are a required part of every credit union’s existence or success.

From its beginnings in 1934, UECU has followed a virtual business model, serving its 44,000 members nationwide from a single headquarters building near Reading, Penn., which lies between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Penn. Its savings and lending products were relatively limited until the mid-1980s, when UECU began expanding its product offerings; it became a full-service credit union in 2002, according to Zyma.

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Tina Orem


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