New York’s Finest get their own CU… at last.

Just read a very cool article in the November 21 issue of the CU Times about a new CU being founded in New York City. Great brands and great credit unions begin with a target audience — and that’s the case here. This CU is called Finest Federal Credit Union, and it’s target member is law enforcement and their families. The article explains in great detail how this credit union knows and understands that unique membership, and how its products and services are going to be tailored uniquely to them. The interesting thing is that there are many Police and Fire CUs across the country, and several are relatively large. (77 CUs have the word “Police” in their name). But none exist in New York City. It’s about time New York’s finest has a credit union of their own. (I wonder if there used to be one, but it expanded in a quest for growth, and lost sight of its original membership?)

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7 Responses to “New York’s Finest get their own CU… at last.”

  1. Ginny Brady Says:

    Nice bit of CU Human interest, Morriss. I just “googled” them and they don’t have an online presence yet. Why not send them an invitation to join Everything CU.

  2. Morriss Partee Says:

    HI Ginny, they aren’t in the NCUA database yet, so I think they are still in the process of applying for their charter.

  3. Andy Says:

    Its always nice to see a cu open with a good, focused field of membership. What’re your views on expanding a cu’s field of membership? Im not sure i even know where i stand on the subject, Obviously growth is the primary goal for an institution, is there a point that a cu can get “too big”?

  4. Morriss Partee Says:

    Whooooo boy! Wow! What a question. One I can’t really do justice addressing right here; but I’ll try. First of all, no, growth is NOT obviously the primary goal of an institution. Where did that idea come from? No, the primary goal of an institution should be to become BETTER for your customers. Growth THEN becomes a measuring stick of becoming BETTER, not the other way around. Because a company can grow without becoming better… but someday the price for that will be paid. There is a world of difference between growth for the sake of growth and growth because you’ve become better.

    I’ve done consulting for CUs that have gone community. It’s a lot of work, but it can be done. I recommend it only as a last resort, because there’s a big downside to opening up to additional fields of membership– you are no longer as special to the people who founded you to begin with; you’ve diluted your specialness. And being special and unique is where true CU success lies… when members feel like that’s MY credit union.

  5. Andy Says:

    Great point with the growth for growths sake vs. growth based on improved service. I’ve actually seen a lot of attempted growth for growths sake here at MSCU (terrible ad campaigns, no community involvement, etc.) and its one of my goals to see that change.

    Just before I started working here, Maine State Employee’s Credit Union changed to Maine State Credit Union. We went from having just state employees and family to anybody who lives works or worships in the Kennebec Valley area and saw first hand the effects. Nearly every state employee expressed a feeling of “not being in the club anymore” and i think thats been something we’ve struggled with since the expansion of our field of membership. People like to feel like part of something exclusive and i think it put a lot of people off. Don’t get me wrong, I love MSCU, I think things are getting a bit “corporate” though…if you get what I mean.

  6. Morriss Partee Says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Your CU is definitely not alone. I’ve seen this story play out over and over and over again all over the country. It’s one thing if it’s done because the original sponsor is a pale shadow of its former membership (nearly all telephone CUs fall into this category). But its quite frankly a horrible shame when the original sponsor is still thriving… I’m guessing the beautiful state of Maine, and the PEOPLE WHO MAKE IT THE GREAT STATE THAT IT IS haven’t gone away. All you have to do to figure this whole thing out is imagine what it feels like to someone who has dedicated their life to public service– in many cases worked very hard for 10 years, 20 years, 30 years… to improving Maine, helping the people of the state of Maine… and their CU decides to open up to ANYONE in the area? How would you feel? Like you got punched in the gut?

    BTW, you have such a beautiful state, I’m going to go up there this weekend for some R&R.

  7. Andy Says:

    Maine is a beautiful place. We’re finally having a white Christmas up here after years of having rain and brown grass come the 24th. We had 3 storms last week, its been a vicious cycle of shovel, get plowed in, shovel, get plowed in!

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