SEATTLE (April 25, 2018) — BECU, the largest community credit union in the country, grew its membership by eight percent last year to 1,081,077 members, and ended the year with $17.8 billion in assets, an 8.5 percent increase over 2016. As a credit union, BECU works to effectively balance its growth, and the safety and soundness of the cooperative, which resulted in a net worth (capital) ratio of 10.97 percent.
“As a not-for-profit co-op, our commitment is to our members, not stockholders. That enables us to focus on the long-term strength of our business, while remaining true to our values,” said Benson Porter, BECU president and CEO. “Ultimately, BECU's growth reflects the value and trust our members feel about their cooperative, and provides us with more resources to support the financial health of our members and communities to an even greater extent.”
Return to Members
The credit union returned $186.8 million ($179 per member) to its members in the form of better rates and lower fees compared to bank averages, including:
- More than $3.6 million returned to more than 45,200 members through its reprice program by automatically reducing the interest rates on their loans due to positive financial behaviors.
- More than $16.8 million saved by waiving mortgage origination fees for BECU members.
- Removing the foreign transaction fees when members use their debit card outside of the United States.
Through its support of financial health and credit union causes, BECU donated $5.35 million in cash and in-kind donations last year, including:
- More than $2 million for financial health and education across Washington state.
- $500,000 to 69 member-nominated People Helping People Award recipients.
- More than $477,000 in employee-matched charitable giving to 685 non-profit organizations.
Additionally, the BECU Foundation gave $240,000 to 80 students through scholarships.
Focus on Financial Education
Beyond the dollars donated, BECU reaches its members and communities through hands-on financial education opportunities last year, including:
- More than 1,300 members received a Financial Health Check, which are free one-on-one personalized sessions by BECU financial experts that help members achieve their financial goals, from saving to debt management and more.
- BECU financial educators delivered 352 webinars and seminars to more than 9,038 people on a variety of topics— from home buying to budgeting to retirement planning.
- More than 1,700 BECU employees hosted financial reality fairs at 12 schools across Washington state as part of its annual Closing for Good event, helping to educate more than 7,000 students.
- BECU developed the Next Big Talk as a resource for parents looking for information and encouragement to discuss finances with their teens.
Investments in Member Services
BECU members may have noticed other investments the credit union made in 2017 to enhance its services, including:
- Five new Neighborhood Financial Centers in Washington to better serve members in Wallingford, Greenwood, Seattle Hill, West Seattle and North Spokane.
- Enhanced digital payment offerings by introducing Android and Samsung Pay, and being one of the first financial institutions to enable payments from wearable devices like FitBit Ionic and Garmin Vivoactive 3.
- Upgrades to its nearly 250 ATMs to feature a streamlined main menu and better security features.
BECU is a not-for-profit credit union owned by its members. Members receive the benefits of ownership through better rates and fewer fees. With more than 1 million members and over $17 billion in assets, BECU is the largest credit union in Washington and one of the top five financial cooperatives in the country. BECU currently operates more than 45 locations in Washington and two financial centers in South Carolina. For more information, visit www.becu.org.