Emory Report
September 10, 2007
Volume 60, Number 3

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September 10, 2007
New name and charter will help Emory Federal Credit Union grow

By kim urquhart

The Emory Federal Credit Union is converting to a state charter to service the growing Emory community. The move allows the financial cooperative to extend its products and services beyond the immediate Emory family, such as to the future residents of the Clifton Road Mixed-Use Development who would be able to apply for a mortgage loan.

A state charter allows for more flexibility and enhances the credit union’s growth potential, while allowing it to maintain its unique relationship with Emory. The Emory Federal Credit Union was chartered in 1968 by a small group of Emory employees to serve the staff and faculty of the University and Emory University Hospital. Its field of membership has grown to include Emory students and Emory-related organizations, and the full-service financial institution now manages nearly $90 million in assets of its 18,000 members.

Yet growth requires change. The federal credit union has historically operated under a multi-group occupational charter, a structure that would not allow it to keep the University as its primary sponsor while adding residents of the Emory community.

“Emory is growing and it continues to grow, and we were somewhat limited with our current charter,” said President Chris Culberson. The credit union is owned by its members, who voted overwhelmingly to convert from a federal to a state charter. A state charter allows for a blend of occupational groups with residential groups, and could help the credit union support Emory’s community-improvement projects.

“It is in our interest to be consistent and stay consistent with the University’s growth and mission and help support the strategic and master planning process of the University,” said Ron Taylor, chair of the credit union’s all-volunteer board of directors and associate vice president for campus life at Emory.

“This conversion gives us the ability to help more people, and enhance the community as well,” said Culberson. “This gives people living near Emory the opportunity to bank with a nonprofit.”

Members will continue to receive exceptional member service, extensive products and services, competitive rates on loan and mortgage products, and higher than average dividend rates on deposit accounts. Deposits will continue to be insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.

Members will, however, notice a new name and logo. Beginning Oct. 1, the Emory Federal Credit Union will become the Emory Alliance Credit Union and the name change will be displayed throughout the credit union and reflected in new materials.

“The name change to Emory Alliance reflects our desire to partner with the community and trying to make a difference in people’s lives,” Culberson said. He emphasized that the change will not affect members’ accounts. “There will be no inconvenience to the members whatsoever,” he said.

The conversion will benefit members in several ways, Culberson said. New growth opportunities in its field of membership will enable the credit union to augment its products and services, such as expanding branch operations or adding more surcharge-free ATM locations. “The goal is to gain economies of scale, because we have more potential members in certain areas,” Culberson said. “What it does is allow for expansion down the road,” he said.

The state charter allows the credit union to gradually expand its reach into other counties. “With Emory’s recent endeavors to make things better around the Emory campus, this would allow us to serve, for instance, DeKalb County,” he said.

“By adding DeKalb County residents,” he continued, “anybody who wanted to buy a house or a condo inside the Clifton Road Mixed-Use Development and did not work for Emory, for example, would then be able to join the credit union and enjoy all the benefits of membership.”

Future areas of expansion might include opening a branch near Oxford College in Newton County or in the Johns Creek region where there are a large number of Emory employees.

“Our goal is not to expand heavily, it’s mainly to serve members and be able to grow in those areas where Emory has its facilities,” Culberson said. “We want to keep the Emory family as our primary emphasis.”
Growth from the new charter should also allow the credit union to eventually extend the hours at its main branch on Clairmont Road in Decatur, he added.

To learn more, visit www.emoryfcu.com