Now that the vote to change the charter has passed, what are the next steps?
The conversion went into effect on October, 1, 2020. Final administrative changes and updates will happen in early October.
All Service Credit Union deposit accounts will continue to be federally insured by our current federal government agency, the NCUA’s Share Insurance Fund.
What will change for current members as a part of this charter conversion?
Absolutely nothing will change for current members. Once a member, always a member! If someone is a current member of Service Credit Union, regardless of where they live or work, they will remain a member. Immediate family members will still be eligible to join via their relationship to existing members.
We will continue doing business as Service Credit Union, but internally, our legal name will change to Service Federal Credit Union, and we will have only one government agency acting as our regulator and insurer, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).
How will the credit union be paying for this change, and will it impact fees?
There will be a fee of approximately $50,000 to change the credit union’s legal name, but this will come out of come out of the credit union’s marketing budget and operating income. The credit union is responsible for paying the NCUA Operating Fee, just as it was responsible for paying the State Examination Fee previously. While it does represent an increase in the credit union’s operating expense, it will be absorbed through the credit union’s current income. Neither of these costs will be felt as an immediate/direct change in member fees or reduction in savings rates.
Is member eligibility at the credit union going to change?
Yes, eligibility requirements for prospective members will be changing. With our current community state charter, anyone can become a member if they live or work within the state of New Hampshire or Falmouth, Bourne, Mashpee, or Sandwich, Massachusetts. Additionally, U.S. Military and Department of Defense employees, personnel on Active duty, Inactive status, or Standby and their families are also eligible. The credit union also has a long list of qualifying New Hampshire and Massachusetts-based companies and organizations whose employees and members are eligible for membership.
Under the new federal charter, those who live or work in New Hampshire will not be eligible based on that criteria alone. However, we believe that many, if not most, potential new members coming to us will still be able to qualify for membership through employment or associational groups, or through familial connections.
After the conversion, who will be eligible for membership?
Under a federal charter, membership will be open to employees and members of approved employers and associations. We are carrying over all approved employers and associations currently in our field of membership, such as the military and certain businesses in New Hampshire. We are always willing to evaluate adding new employers and associations and have recently added the nationwide American Consumer Council to our approved association list, making it possible for many more individuals to join. Eligibility for employees of the military branches and Department of Defense, veterans and their families will remain unchanged.
What will happen to Service Credit Union’s New Hampshire roots?
We remain committed to the Granite State, including maintaining our primary workforce and headquarters here. New Hampshire members will not see a change in our branch structure as a result of this conversion, nor a change in service.
Why is the credit union making this charter change?
Serving our core military membership, while also competing with other military-focused banks and credit unions, requires that we remain relevant to our members wherever they are. Additionally, the Credit Union believes that growth and geographic diversification are necessary for the continued viability and health of the credit union.
Will accounts be impacted?
No, accounts with us will not be impacted. Account names and account structure are not being changed in any way.
Will member numbers change?
No—member numbers and account numbers will remain the same.
Will this charter change affect current business accounts?
No; current business accounts as well as personal accounts will not be affected.
Does this conversion affect federal deposit insurance?
No, accounts will continue to be insured by the NCUSIF, as managed by our federal regulator, the National Credit Union Administration. Existing deposit insurance will not change.
Is our money safe?
Yes. As a member-owned financial institution, keeping our members’ money safe is our number one priority. The credit union’s financial position is sound, and this conversion will have no impact on our financials or the safety of deposits.
Will members still have access to existing branches and ATMs?
Yes, Service Credit Union’s current branch and ATM locations are not being changed. Our participation in the Co-op Shared Branching network as well as the Allpoint network will also be unchanged.
How will members benefit?
Members will benefit from this conversion in a number of ways. Through a federal charter, Service Credit Union can pursue more growth opportunities outside of our New Hampshire borders. This could result in added locations to conduct business and serve members who are located outside of New Hampshire. Also, growth for the credit union means more resources available to improve our members’ banking experience.