BECU and the Credit Union Community

Past, Present and Future

Credit unions began forming more than a century ago to provide financial services to groups of people with a common bond or shared community. As not-for-profit, member-owned cooperatives, credit unions exist for the benefit of their members and work to improve the financial well-being of their members. Member ownership and commitment to their members are the key differences between banks and credit unions.   

BECU started in December 1935 with a small group of Boeing employees coming together to pool their money to make small loans to their coworkers for tools and other needs.

While much has changed over the past 80 plus years, our passion for supporting our members and our commitment to being a not-for-profit cooperative credit union is as steadfast as ever. We exist to do the right thing for our members and their financial health.

As BECU has grown over the decades, so has our ability to support our members, our communities and the broader credit union community.  Learn more about our community efforts.

BECU is committed to our members and to being a state-chartered credit union, and by working together with our fellow credit unions and association partners, we've been able to do great things together. 

Supporting the Credit Union Movement

At BECU, we're deeply rooted in the credit union model and the cooperative, member-centric approach to doing business. In fact, our first core value is Members First. 

And in true cooperative spirit, credit unions often come together to support one another, and educate consumers on the benefits of belonging to a credit union. 

At BECU, examples of how this comes to life include: 

Cooperative Community Advocate
We are strong believers in the cooperative business model and we regularly explore partnerships with other credit unions, cooperatives, and non-profit organizations.  We've dedicated a BECU staff member entirely to advocating for the credit union difference and cooperative business model through educating and networking with local business leaders and employees, members and others within the credit union industry. 

Industry Participation
BECU supports local and national credit union trade associations and foundations in a variety of ways, including memberships, board roles, leading and participating in educational programs, fundraising and/or providing grants, and more. 

  • Examples include: Credit Union House, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and several of its councils, Local Credit Union Chapters, National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU), National Association of State Chartered Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS), Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA), National Credit Union Foundation and its advisory committees, Northwest Credit Union Foundation (NWCUF), World Council of Credit Unions, and others. 

Employee Education
We reinforce the "People Helping People" philosophy by devoting hundreds of employee hours to training for: 

  • Life simulations to ensure BECU employees are developing products and programs that address members' financial needs; 

  • Certifying staff through the Credit Union Development Education (DE) training program; 

  • Facilitating and sponsoring the Leveraging the CU Difference workshop in the Northwest;

  • Hosting Financial Reality Fairs for thousands of high schoolers as part of BECU's Annual Day of service.

Credit Union Collaboration

  • This includes $1M in non-member deposits to low income credit unions and secondary capital to low-income credit unions.

  • Alongside other credit unions, we support Business Impact Northwest (BIN), including serving on their board.

Industry Think Tanks
We help fuel innovation within the financial industry through support of organizations like the Filene Institute's Center for Emerging Technology and several Credit Union Service Organizations (CUSO's). 

Government Relations
We work with state and federal regulators to help create a working environment that is fair to credit unions and ultimately our members. 

We've developed a director-level role within BECU focused on building government relations including organizing our participation in "Hike the Hill" opportunities supporting industry associations.

BECU's Commitment

BECU is committed to being a member-owned cooperative credit union, advocating for the benefits of operating as such, and helping our members achieve their financial goals.