Member News and Alerts
Annual Meeting Recap-Just the Facts
--From the Desk of The Chief Risk & Compliance Officer Marine FCU
As a member, you have a voice and a vote. That is a fundamental differentiator between banks and credit unions. Banks make money for shareholders’ and board members’ financial benefit; credit unions make money solely to support the operations to service members. Like all credit unions, Marine FCU holds an annual meeting of the membership, the purpose of which is to elect the board members and provide information to members regarding key credit union activities, such as financial condition, oversight, and lending practices.
At this year’s meeting on May 11, we had several member inquiries regarding operations. If you were able to attend the meeting, we were glad to see you there! But since less than 1% of our members were able to attend, we felt it was important to take this opportunity to address those questions and concerns.
Why did we put over $1,000,000 into the Loan Loss Reserves in March 2017?
This question was addressed by Treasurer, Mike Dunn, during the meeting and as he
explained, that is what the calculation required to cover the historical rolling average. Allow me to expand on that since this may be a foreign topic to those unfamiliar with the intricacies of the financial industry.
Historically, credit unions have been known for being willing to take on more lending risk than their banker counterparts. The very foundation of the Credit Union Movement is about “people helping people.” Unfortunately, some credit union members don’t pay back their loans. Since the credit union is a cooperative, when this happens, the entire credit union suffers.
From an accounting perspective, financial institutions are required to reserve money to cover the cost of estimated loan losses–the loans we grant that will not be paid back. Calculations vary and accounting rules change from time to time, but the amount required for reserve is generally tied to loan balances, loss histories, and the types of loans in the portfolio. With a nearly half-billion dollar loan portfolio and higher loan losses, our Loan Loss Reserve requirements have increased. We must allocate reserves appropriately to position the credit union to absorb future loan losses. We are continually striving to find ways to reduce loan losses, while still being able to offer affordable loan products to our members.
Why did we move all of our ATMs off of the base, and is that the reason we are losing younger members?
This was just incorrect information. Marine FCU has branch locations and/or ATMs on five (5) Marine Corp installations–Camp Lejeune, New River Air Station, Quantico, Camp Johnson, and Camp Geiger. Among those five base installations, we had 62 ATMs. We removed only nine (9) of those, leaving an abundance of ATMs aboard the bases we serve.
Why did we remove those nine machines? Very simply - our members were not using them; even non-members were not using them. Since ATMs are costly to maintain, this was an easy decision when we evaluated the cost of the ATMs (which is a cost to members) versus the member benefit. If our members don’t need the machines then why continue to absorb that unnecessary cost? As our Board Chairman, Marty Goldman, pointed out during the meeting, those are resources that we can reallocate to newer technology, namely Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs). ITM technology offers ATM services and much, much more. If you haven’t had an opportunity to do so yet, visit one of our ITM/Live Teller locations and check it out! Eventually ITMs will allow us to expand service hours and even locations, without adding unnecessary staffing or branch costs. And yes, you may continue to see removal or relocation of those old ATMs. Part of serving our members is recognizing when it’s time to make a change, and the “new” and ever-changing definition of “banking” is certainly keeping us on our toes! Our commitment to you is to use credit union resources in the best way possible to provide the services you need and want, and to change as your needs change.
To answer the final part of this question, we have seen no impact on our membership of any age as a result of removing those nine ATMs. We do have the data to show that the majority of our members simply do not use ATMs as frequently as they once did. And, we can hardly blame them – why use cash when your credit union gives you reward points and cash back on your debit card???!!!
Why did the gift card I purchased at a local merchant not work at the Marine FCU ATMs, nor could it be used in the branch?
This is a situation-specific question, so we won’t provide an extensive amount of detail. We will say “Thank You” to the member who brought this to our attention because it helped us identify and correct a problem about which we were unaware. This is also a great opportunity to address some general information about gift cards. When buying a gift card from any merchant, always read the fine print to see if there are limitations. Gift cards vary on how/where they can be used, depending on the issuer of the gift card. By design, some gift cards will not work in ATMs, gas stations, or at certain merchants.
Why is the Annual Meeting format and location changing in 2018?
You may have noticed a trend in these answers so far: research and analysis. We have spent the past 18 months in a constant state of evaluation, looking for ways to improve income, reduce expenses, and serve members better. Looking at the past three (3) years, only 1% or less of the Marine FCU membership was able to attend the Annual Membership Meeting. This had a negative impact on the remaining 99% who couldn’t be served because branches were closed to accommodate the meeting. When we look at serving our membership, we must look at the greatest benefit and the greatest value. The Annual Meeting has three primary purposes:
- Election of Board Members: Except in a situation of election by acclimation, voting is now electronic so that our members all over the world have an opportunity to vote.
- Dissemination of Credit Union Information: The dissemination of credit union information can be reliably communicated at any time and from any location. A benefit of having the meeting at Marine FCU’s Corporate Headquarters is to give the board an opportunity to live-stream the meeting for those who want to “attend” but cannot be physically present.
- Opportunity for members to voice concerns: We welcome your inquiries at the meeting; that is a critical venue for our members’ voices to be heard. Please note, however, that credit union operations are complex and each transaction is different. Most inquiries require some level of research to ensure we are providing you with the right answer. It is difficult to answer transaction-specific questions without having the details at our fingertips. So the best way to get an accurate answer to any question is to contact us directly; visit your favorite branch, contact the Call Center, or send a Secure Support message through home banking. If you feel like you received the wrong answer, escalate your concern to the Risk and Compliance Department or to Internal Audit.
The Annual Membership Meeting will always be a part of the credit union, but we recognize that most of our members simply cannot attend, no matter the time of day or location. So, we are seeking new and improved ways to reach out and connect with members in a variety of venues. You will see more, not less, member outreach. It just will look a little different.
Since 1959, Marine FCU has been here to serve. Employees change, buildings change, technology changes, rules and regulations change, products and services change, but one constant always remains–our commitment to service. From our Volunteer Board of Directors to the President/CEO to the brand-new teller, every person within the Marine FCU family is here to serve you, the member. Alas, we are still human; despite our best efforts we are fallible, and as such make a mistake from time to time. But when you call us, we listen, and will do what we can to fix our mistakes. Then we will learn from those mistakes and forge ahead, now better than we were yesterday.
Fraud and Your Marine FCU Debit Card
At Marine FCU, keeping your financial information safe and secure is our top priority.
If we suspect fraud on your debit card, you will receive an automated call to the phone number associated with your account. The call is on behalf of Marine FCU’s Transaction Review Department and will ask you to verify a few items before proceeding.
If a voicemail is left, you will be asked to call 800.327.8622; be sure to respond as soon as possible. (If fraud is suspected and there is no response from you, your debit card may be deactivated to protect your account.) Please have your debit card available. You will be asked to verify the phone number associated with your account.
Please log into Online Banking to make sure we have your correct phone number or contact our Call Center at 800.225.3967, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Eastern Time.
For a complete listing of numbers to contact for fraud or a lost/stolen debit card, click here and scroll down to the area for debit card phone numbers.
Extended Live Teller Hours
The ease and convenience of Live Teller will be available to members on Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m., starting June 3. Conduct your transactions from the comfort of your car with the personal service of a teller.
Visit one of these Live Teller locations today:
- 673 West Corbett Avenue, Swansboro, NC
- 601 Richlands Highway, Jacksonville, NC
- 1101 Gum Branch Road, Jacksonville, NC
- 4052 Curtis Road, New River Air Station, NC
- 4180 Western Boulevard, Jacksonville, NC
- 1101 Gum Branch Road, Jacksonville, NC
Look for four more additional Live Teller locations coming soon:
- Left entrance of the Main PX, MCB Camp Lejeune, NC (Walk-up Live Teller)
- Piney Green entrance, Camp Lejeune, NC
- MCB Quantico, 3380 Russell Road, Quantico, VA
- 209 Garrisonville Rd., Stafford, VA
Hear What Charles Thinks About Live Teller
Why You Don’t Want To Miss Out On Certificate Laddering
by Sandy Drew, Special Operations Manager
Certificate laddering is a way you can take advantage of the higher rates that come with our long term certificates and still have access to your money each year. “Laddering” means purchasing several share certificates at once for different terms.
How do you get started?
Start by purchasing several share certificates at one time, beginning with a 12-month term. Each time a share certificate matures you roll it over into a new share certificate with a longer term and higher rate. To make it convenient, we’ve created a new feature that automatically rolls over into our 60-month certificate, so you truly can set it and forget it while your money continuously grows.
For example, if you have $50,000 to invest to start, you can purchase five $10,000 savings certificates:
- 12-month term certificate
- 24-month term certificate
- 36-month term certificate
- 48-month term certificate
- 60-month term certificate
When the 12-month certificate matures, renew with a 60-month term, and do the same with the 24, and 36, 48 and 60 month share certificates.
In four years you will have five 60-month share certificates maturing every year. That way, you have access to cash every year, but you get to take advantage of higher dividend rates associated with our 60-month share certificate.
You can customize your certificate ladder with different terms or different amounts to best meet your financial goals.
If you haven’t tried a certificate laddering, now is a great time to start. We are raising the certificate rate by 10 basis points when you ladder an IRA certificate.
To start laddering share certificates, stop by a branch or call us at 910.577.7333 or 800.225.3967.
Four More Live Tellers Are Live!
Ease and convenience has just been delivered to four more Marine FCU branch drive-ups. The following locations just gained a Live Teller machine to assist you faster and more efficiently:
- 673 West Corbett Ave., Swansboro, NC
- 601 Richlands Hwy., Jacksonville, NC
- 1101 Gum Branch Rd., Jacksonville, NC
- 4052 Curtis Rd., New River Air Station, NC
Using a Live Teller is a convenient way to conduct a transaction without leaving your car. All with the personal service of a teller. Look for more to come before the year is over. Learn about Live Teller with this video.