Membership Votes on Charter Change

Last month we asked you to vote on a very important matter concerning our federal charter and our interest in becoming a New York state charted credit union under the Department of Financial Services. We thank each and every member who voted, provided feedback and asked additional questions.

We are proud to announce the majority of voting members elected to vote YES to our request for the charter change.

We believe this comes with the opportunity to serve our membership more effectively allowing us to serve a larger community, be more involved with regulators who affect changes relating to financial institutions, provide the ability to increase member convenience, and help maintain our commitment to local decision-making.

With this charter change we will continue to evolve our product and service offerings, our branch locations, and our technology to best meet the needs of our membership. Our commitment to sound planning, member focused initiatives, and a visionary outlook to the future remains steadfast.

If you have any questions about the charter change please see the Q&A below or feel free to contact us at 315.782.0155.

Q&A Regarding Our Charter Change

What is the difference between a state and a federal charter?
A federal charter means the credit union is regulated by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). A state charter means the credit union is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), which regulates state-chartered credit unions and other financial institutions for compliance with the laws and regulations of the state of New York, as well as appropriate rules and regulations of federal agencies.

Do members have to approve the charter change?
Yes. A Notice and a Ballot was sent to all members prior to a special members’ meeting on Monday, July 30. The meeting and voting has already taken place and the resolution has passed in favor of becoming a state chartered Credit Union.

Will our name change?
We will be legally and officially known as Northern Credit Union.

Will member deposits still be insured by the NCUA?
Yes, that does not change. The National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund provides all members with $250,000 in coverage.

Will this change have an effect on the credit union’s non-partisan political stance?
As a credit union we are required to remain neutral in regards to political affiliations. We will continue to operate free of bias with no ties to any specific politician, political party and do not seek to incur political gains or aspirations. The Department of Financial Services is a separate entity charged with upholding banking laws and statues for the benefit of New York citizens. They are not part of the political landscape within New York and are a neutral regulatory body.

Why did we seek to change our charter and how does this benefit the membership?
Changing our charter enables credit union growth with greater ability to expand our field of membership and help more people with their financial needs. In turn, more member relationships enable:

  • continued expansion of our wide array of products and services
  • low loan rates across all product lines
  • above average deposit yields lesser service fees
  • added technology to make banking more convenient and enjoyable
  • added investment in support of our communities
  • additional business opportunities and stability for our Credit Union
  • new opportunities for our employees, and for new employees

And increased ease of access to regulator decision makers will:

  • provide Northern with greater influence on future decisions
  • afford better opportunity for cultivating a more open and supportive relationship with our regulator
  • quicker responses to our requests, comments and other inquire
  • less impacted by significant events on the national level
  • increased control over our future direction

Will members feel any difference in their products or services when we change to a state charter? This will be a seamless transition for our members as:

  • Account numbers and passwords will not change
  • Our existing branch network, including our call center, will remain intact
  • There will be no new or modified fees associated with the charter change

Are you doing this in preparation for a buyout or merger?
No. We are extremely well-positioned and strong, with no intention to merge under another credit union or convert to a bank.

Under a state charter, can you still be a member if you move outside of the eligible service areas?
Yes, you can still be a member if you relocate outside of the Credit Union’s field of membership. Once a member, always a member.