The Credit Union Difference

With news of bank failures, consumers are expressing concern about the security of their deposits. The Credit Union National Association has presented facts to ensure members that their savings are secure with their credit union. Read this article, America's Credit Unions: Secure, Strong for more in-depth information about the credit union advantage.

A Note from GCS President/CEO Keith Burton:

How safe is my credit union?

Much has been written about the upheaval in the financial markets and about the safety and soundness of various financial institutions. I wanted to take a few moments to address this subject as it pertains to GCS Credit Union.

First, all your credit union accounts are insured up to $250,000.00 by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. This Fund, which is backed by the federal government, is the strongest of the insurance funds, and is 100% subsidized by Credit Unions. Not one penny of taxpayer dollars has ever been used to recapitalize this fund.

GCS Credit Union has never participated in any "sub-prime" mortgage lending and therefore has very few mortgages that are in any foreclosure process. As a result, any potential losses are minimal. The credit union's overall delinquency rate is less than one-half of one percent of all loans.

Your credit union's loan portfolio is nearly all in consumer loans to members. We do not have any large dollars tied up in any commercial loan ventures that could fail, resulting in losses for the credit union. In fact, credit unions are more closely regulated and restricted than banks, and are prohibited from investing in or participating in any loan or investment of a speculative nature.

As is required by our regulatory agency, the National Credit Union Administration, we are reviewed annually by a team of federal examiners and accountants. They test our policies, review our accounting records, and research our compliance practices to ensure that all handling of cash and non-cash assets are performed correctly, and in accordance with acceptable accounting standards.

For the last decade, GCS Credit Union has received the highest rating that the regulatory agency can assign to any credit union, and presently has more than twice the regulatory capital required by law.

So in answer to the question, "how safe is my credit union?" the answer is that GCS Credit Union has never been more safe and sound. We remain dedicated to serving our members and providing the best possible place for your savings and borrowing needs. Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Keith Burton

President/CEO



Benefits of being a credit union member

Federally chartered, and many state-chartered credit unions are insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF), which is managed by the National Credit Union Administration, an agency of the federal government. As a federal deposit insurance fund, the NCUSIF is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. The NCUSIF is the only deposit insurance fund that operates on a pay-as-you-go system, which prevents the accumulation of annual losses. The NCUSIF has never had to use taxpayers' money.


Credit UnionsBanks
Credit unions have members, not customers. Each person who deposits money in a credit union becomes a member of the credit union because his deposit is considered his share of the ownership. That means credit unions are member-owned. Each member is also an owner of the credit union.Banks can serve anyone in the general public. Banks have customers who have no voice in how the bank is operated. Banks are owned by small groups of investors who expect a certain return on their investments.
Credit unions are democratically controlled. They are run by a volunteer board of directors elected by and from the membership. Each member has one vote in electing board members and certain committee members and can run for election to the board or committees.At banks, only the investors have voting privileges. Customers don't have voting rights, cannot be elected to the board, and have no authority in the overall governance of their bank.
Credit unions are not-for-profit. This doesn't mean that they do not or should not make a profit. After expenses are paid and reserves are set aside, surplus earnings are returned to members in the forms of higher dividends, lower loan rates and free or low-cost services. In banks, only the investors get a share of the profits.
Federally chartered and many state-chartered credit unions are insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF), which is managed by the National Credit Union Administration, an agency of the federal government. As a federal deposit insurance fund, the NCUSIF is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government. The NCUSIF is the only deposit insurance fund that operates on a pay-as-you-go system, which prevents the accumulation of annual losses. The NCUSIF has never had to use taxpayers' money. Banks are insured by the federal government. Their insurance fund is called the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Part of this fund, which covers savings and loans, had to be bailed out by using billions of dollars of taxpayers' money. The FDIC is not operated on a pay-as-you-go system.