Kennametal Employees Federal Credit Union closed its doors today, Halloween 2014, for good. Kennametal was one of the oldest credit unions in town and held the second most assets. It was approximately one million dollars larger than our credit union. The building will reopen Monday, November 3 as a branch office of Clearview Federal Credit Union, a $900 million plus asset credit union which is headquartered in Moon Township. Clearview Federal Credit Union is approximately three times the size of Commercial Bank and Trust of PA.
The merger of Kennametal with Clearview is not the first merger of credit unions that the area has seen. It certainly won't be the last. At least twenty-seven credit unions have gone out of business in Pennsylvania in the past twelve months. The reasons credit unions choose to merge vary but one common theme is an increased cost of doing business in a highly competitive market that is becoming more and more technological. It has also been difficult for many credit unions to attract volunteers to serve on boards of directors, credit committees and supervisory committees. The Great Recession of 2008 has made it difficult for many credit unions to generate revenue to pay its bills and offer new technologies and services.
While our credit union has seen a decrease in lobby traffic and has experienced many of the same challenges that have caused other credit unions to pursue the merger route, we continue to move forward. While we cannot guarantee that there isn't a merger of our credit union in the future we will do all we can to stay competitive and continue offering the services you require. It is our hope to begin offering first mortgages to our membership beginning in 2015. We also hope to roll out a remote deposit program which will allow you to take a picture of your check with your cell phone and send it to us electronically for deposit into your account. We also hope to make enhancements to our mobile banking program.
The credit union landscape is changing in Latrobe. So as we say farewell to an old friend in Kennametal Credit Union, we welcome Clearview Federal Credit Union to town. We promise to you, our members, that we will stay on our toes. We are here to serve you. Thank you for belonging!
As we announced in a prior newsletter, CUNA Mutual Group has decided to discontinue its life savings insurance product effective December 31, 2014. The following is the official termination notice:
At CMFG Life Insurance Company, we regularly evaluate our products to ensure we are delivering value to the credit unions and members we serve. Due to a significant decline in demand from credit unions and their members, we have made the difficult decision to exit the Life Savings product currently offered to you through VASCO Federal Credit Union. Life Savings was developed more than 75 years ago and has been in a steady state of decline for the last several years. Life Savings is structured as a monthly policy where the credit union pays the premium for each month, rather than building equity over time.
Per the terms of the group policy issued to your credit union, your Life Savings Insurance will expire on December 31, 2014.
This insurance has been provided at no direct cost to you for eligible deposits. Coverage on existing eligible deposits will cease on January 31, 2015. This means, if you should pass away on or before January 31, 2015, your beneficiaries should submit a claim with your credit union immediately.
We know many of you value the peace of mind and security that life insurance provides. That’s why we wanted you to know you can convert your Life Savings coverage to a guaranteed issue Primary Protection Plan, underwritten by CMFG Life. This new policy would provide life insurance coverage up to $3000. If you decide to take advantage of the conversion option, you must apply by January 31, 2015. You will be responsible for premium payments, and your new policy will be effective after you complete the application process. Your premiums will be based on your age at time of application.
Conversion is simple. Just request, complete, and return an application with your first premium payment directly to CMFG Life by January 31, 2015 in order to receive coverage. To request the application, call 855-728-5205 to speak with a fully licensed insurance representative. CMFG Life’s staff will review your situation with you and provide guidance to ensure you have the right type and amount of insurance protection for you and your family based on your current and future needs.
The decision to discontinue this product was made by CUNA Mutual Group and not your credit union. We have offered this benefit to members since the credit union’s founding in 1967. If you are interested in continuing coverage, please do not contact the credit union. Contact CUNA Mutual Group directly at 855-728-5205.
The 48th Annual Membership Meeting of VASCO Federal Credit Union will be held on Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 9AM at the Fred Rogers Center at St. Vincent College. A complimentary buffet breakfast will be provided. Our 2014 Annual Report will be reviewed and an election of officers will be conducted. Please RSVP at the credit union by March 12, 2015.
Welcome to the 44th Annual Membership Meeting of VASCO Federal Credit Union. Your credit union was founded on September 24, 1967 to serve the employees of VASCO. In the credit union's first month of operations we enrolled seventy-seven members and collected $565.75 in deposits.
The following were elected to the Board of Directors on September 24, 1967:
Joe Healy, President; Stan Falenski, Vice President; Eugene Chinchok, Secretary; Dan Heckel, Treasurer; Bill Albaugh, Director; Howard Keller, Director and Ed Sobota, Director.
A loan limit of $200 was implemented provided that collateral was pledged. If no collateral was pledged the loan limit was $100.
By the end of 1967 there were 456 members and $14,929.55 in assets, including 73 loans totaling $12,567.
In 1968 Dan Heckel resigned his position as treasurer and on July 25, 1968 Annalee Flack was appointed as treasurer to take his place. The treasurer at the time also served as manager of the credit union. Lee would serve the credit union in the position of manager until her retirement in August 1989. Debra Goodman replaced Lee as manager and served the credit union until her retirement in December 2006.
Later in 1968 Joe Healy resigned as president of the credit union and was replaced by Stan Falenski. Stan served as president through his resignation for health reasons on February 12, 1974. Ed Davis was elected president at that time. Also, Skip Skubick was first elected to the Board of Directors in 1974.
Ed Davis served as president until March 24, 1977 when William Sobota was elected president. Leonard Ridilla was first elected to the Board of Directors in 1977. The credit union also celebrated its tenth anniversary in 1977. The credit union grew to 1426 members and $1,851,356 in assets. George Stumpf was elected president of the board on April 10, 1979. Leonard Ridilla was elected president on February 19, 1980. George Stumpf served another period as president beginning April 9, 1985. Leonard Ridilla was elected president on April 5, 1988 and has served the credit union in the capacity of chairman of the board to this date.
By 1989 the credit union has expanded its field of membership and had begun accepting new members from Pennsylvania Container Corporation, Chestnut Ridge Foam, Specialty Spraying and Palmer Motors. We now have forty-five employee groups that we serve.
In 1992 the credit union celebrated its 25th anniversary. A new building was being constructed along Depot Street in Latrobe to house the credit union. We have 1536 members and $7,824,354 in assets. The new office was opened for business on May 10, 1993.
Today your credit union celebrates its 44th anniversary and serves 1973 members and has assets of $20,555,753.
As you may have noticed we have finally updated our website. We will be able to keep you better informed about what is going on with your credit union.
An exciting new feature of the website is a loan application that allows you to complete the application online and send it to us electronically. There is no longer a need to print off a copy and fax it to us or to wait for us to be open so we can mail or fax you an application. We still will need you to provide us with proof of income. You can fax that to us at (724) 537-2530.
Please take a few minutes to explore the website. If you haven't tried online banking yet feel free to check it out. If you are using online banking please consider signing up for e-statements.
And as always if you have any questions or comments please call us at (724) 539-2858.
Applications for the Lee Flack scholarships will be available at the office on April 15. The credit union awards two $500 scholarships to graduating high school seniors. To qualify, the student must have been a credit union member by December 31, 2010, completed an application and have been accepted to a post secondary school or program. Scholarships will be awarded to the two students with the highest QPAs.
VASCO Federal Credit Union is committed to making available financial products and services that will enable you to meet your financial needs and reach your financial goals. Protecting personal information and using it in a manner consistent with your expectations is a high priority for everyone associated with your credit union. As a member of your credit union, you also have a responsibility to safeguard your financial information.
- your credit union will collect only the personal information that is necesaary to conduct your business. That means just what is necessary to provide competitive financial products and services and nothing more.
- Your credit union will protect your personal information. We will maintain strong security controls to ensure that member information in our files and computers is protected.
- you will always have access to your information. As a member of your credit union, you have the opportunity to review your information and make necessary changes to ensure that our records are complete and accurate.
- your credit union will only share information whenever it's absolutely necessary to do so. We will only share information to administer the products and services we provide, when required to do so by a government agency or when we partner with businesses that we select to offer a broad array of products and services.
A recent change in the Federal Reserve system's check processing operations has caused us to change our Funds Availability policy. For the most part you will not be affected by this change. Your credit union will, in most cases, make funds from your deposits available at the time of deposit. In some cases we may put a hold on your deposit. In all cases the first $200 will be available on the first business day after the deposit is made. The rest of the funds will be available on the second or seventh business day following the date of deposit. We will notify you if we are electing to place a hold on your deposit. If you would like a copy of our Funds Availability Policy, please contact us.
Credit unions are often categorized as being either full service or plain vanilla. The difference between the two is usually based on the quantity of services each offers. At your credit union we feel that we are closer to being a full service financial institution than plain vanilla. Are you taking full advantage of your credit union? If not, why? What could we do better? Are there services we do not offer that you would like to see us offer? As your credit union has added additional services we have found that fewer and fewer members take advantage of them.
How many of you are using a checking account at another institution? Do you have a debit card to use with your checking account? Are you aware that your credit union offers a debit card that allows you to use your card at either an ATM or at the cashier's desk or checkout line? Carrying a debit card is much safer than carrying cash. A lost debit card can be replaced, lost cash cannot. If your debit card is stolen, it can be blocked. Unauthorized purchases are not your responsibility. If cash is stolen, it is gone.
Our debit card program is in realtime. You can track your purchases on our online banking system. Ifyou have not signed up for our online banking system, what are you waiting for? Visit our website at www.vascofcu.com today and check it out. Our online banking system is in realtime. You see at home what we see at the office. (Our online system is unavailable during month end closing processing.) Because our system is in realtime you need not worry about overdrawing your account with your debit card. If you do not have available funds to cover a purchase, the purchase will be denied at the point of sale. Please call us with any questions you might have.
2009 is in the books. While it is common at the beginning of a new year to look back at the previous year and review what happened, there wasn't a lot of good to look back on as a whole. Sure the Steelers and Penguins both brought home championships but most of the talk was about the economy but we don't want to talk about that any more than we want to talk about the Steelers five game losing streak that finally came to an end as this newsletter went to print.
Let's resolve to have a better year in 2010. Interest rates are at an all time low. Despite this fact your credit union has been nearly overwhelmed by memeber deposits. Our assets have eclipsed $18 million. That's up over $5 million since December 2006. Our loans to members decreased slightly in 2009. This rapid increase in savings coupled with the decrease in loan demand will cause us to lower the dividend we pay on shares to 1.00% (APY of 1.01%) effective January 1, 2010. Our operating costs remain low despite the new services we introduced in 2009. The realtime home banking and debit and ATM card processing went live in November. This exciting product allows you to view your accounts as we see it from the credit union computers. Debit card and ATM transactions can be seen as they are conducted. If you haven't yet signed up for our new home banking product please visit our website at www.vascofcu.com. If you need help getting enrolled, please contact us at (724) 539-2858.
We wish you all a Happy New Year and promise that we will pay you the best dividend we can while offering our products and services at the lowest possible price! Thanks for belonging!