BECU Opens First Branches in Spokane, Expanding Its ‘Members First’ Philosophy East of the Cascades
(Spokane – August 25, 2016) – Today BECU, established in 1935 and Washington State’s largest credit union, announced the opening of its first Spokane-area Neighborhood Financial Centers.
Beginning September 19, current and new Spokane-area BECU members can access BECU's full suite of financial services inside two new, local branches. BECU's first two financial centers will be located at:
- Cataldo Square shopping center, 916 North Division Street
- 615 North Sullivan Road, Spokane Valley
A third BECU financial center location is planned to open soon.
In addition to the branches, BECU now has mortgage advisors and business relationship managers available in Spokane.
“BECU is excited to be expanding our presence in Spokane, which is a community known for embracing the member-owned spirit of credit unions,” said BECU CEO Benson Porter. “As the state's largest credit union, BECU puts people first by providing great value, convenience and service. We are owned by our members, inspired by our members, and driven to deliver value to our members. This member-first approach extends beyond the walls of our new branches and deep into the Spokane community. That's the BECU difference – members first, communities first.”
With about 5,000 members currently in the Spokane area and an operations center in the Spokane Valley employing more than 100 people, BECU has been an active participant in the community for a decade. As part of its expansion, BECU is building on its current community engagement with several Spokane-area community organizations, including:
- SNAP – BECU made a $62,000 donation in July 2016 to support SNAP's Financial Counseling program.
- Junior Achievement (JA) Washington – BECU has a longtime partnership with JA to deliver financial education programming to participating students and will now support JA Financial Literacy efforts in Spokane.
- People Helping People Awards – The annual People Helping People Awards (PHPA) recognize the causes our BECU members support by awarding up to $180,000 to local non-profits they nominate. In 2016, Spokane area Hearth Homes and Peak 7 Adventures were both recipients of a PHPA award.
- Rebuilding Together Spokane – Through donations and employee volunteer efforts, BECU has supported Rebuilding Together Spokane's effort to ensure low-income individuals have a safe home to live in.
BECU's primary philanthropic causes are financial empowerment, member-inspired giving and employee-inspired giving. Last year BECU donated more than $3.5 million to philanthropic causes.
“Our fellow credit unions are thriving in Spokane and we are lucky to be joining such a strong network in the community,” continued Porter. “Part of the credit union difference is that we look for ways to partner with our fellow credit unions to make a real difference in people's financial lives.”
Longtime Spokane banking executive Steve Hauschild will lead BECU's Spokane expansion as director of commercial banking and Eastern Washington market leader. Prior to joining BECU, Hauschild served in senior positions at Northwest Farm Credit Services, Washington Mutual, Sterling Bank and Umpqua Bank in Spokane.
Consistent with BECU's operating model in Western Washington, the Spokane locations will feature BECU's innovative “tellerless” layout, which empowers members to access their accounts in ways most convenient for them, including ATM, online banking and mobile banking. Member Consultants will be available to assist with these transactions, as well as provide one-on-one support for opening accounts and more complex services like mortgages, personal loans, auto loans, and business services.
Through this innovative approach and leading online and mobile tools, BECU supports its members' banking preferences while also increasing service efficiency and reducing overhead. Combined, these enable BECU to offer members better rates, fewer fees and more affordable services than typical banks. Examples include:
- Member Advantage Checking/Savings account, which pays 4.07% (APY) on first $500. Balances over $500 earn 0.10% APY on Member Advantage Savings and 0.05% APY on Member Advantage Checking.*
- Early Saver account for those under the age of 18 to encourage savings behavior by paying 6.17% (APY) on first $500. Balances over $500 earn 0.10% APY.*
- Periodic evaluation of the credit rating of each member who has a credit card, personal line-of-credit, personal loan, auto loan, boat loan or RV loan. If a member's credit score improves sufficiently and the member's account is in good standing, they may earn a better rate (if not already receiving BECU's lowest rate). In 2015, BECU lowered the rate on 35,800 accounts, savings those members $2.5 million in interest payments.
BECU is a not-for-profit credit union owned by the members. Earnings are returned to the members in the form of better rates and fewer fees. With more than 950,000 members and more than $15 billion in assets, BECU is the largest credit union in Washington and one of the top four financial cooperatives in the country. BECU currently operates more than 40 locations in the Puget Sound region. All Washington state residents, BECU employees and their families, and students attending Washington colleges and universities are eligible to join.
*Rates stated as Annual Percentage Yield (APY), effective 8/23/2016 and are subject to change. Fees may reduce earnings. Member Share Savings, Member Advantage Savings or Early Savers account required to establish membership. See a Member Consultant for Member Advantage eligibility details.