Northwest CU News Roundup
BECU, the Mount Hood Chapter of Credit Unions, and Hapo Credit Union share developments this week.
BECU Grows Membership and Assets in 2017
BECU, the fourth largest community credit union in the country, grew its membership by eight percent last year and ended the year with an 8.5 percent increase in assets over 2016.
BECU president and CEO Benson Porter says the not-for-profit cooperative is committed to its members, not stockholders, which enables it to focus on the long-term strength while remaining true to its values.
“Ultimately, BECU’s growth reflects the value and trust our members feel about their cooperative, and provides us with more resources to support the financial health of our members and communities to an even greater extent,” Porter said.
The credit union accomplished a goal of offering better rates and lower fees to its members, compared to bank averages, through initiatives such as automatic reduction of interest rates on member loans due to positive financial behavior; waiving mortgage origination fees for BECU members; and the elimination of foreign transaction fees for members using their debit cards outside the country.
In 2017, BECU donated $5.35 million in cash and in-kind donations, including more than $2 million for financial health and education across Washington, $500,000 to People Helping People Award recipients, and more than $477,000 in employee-matched charitable giving to 685 non-profit organizations. Additionally, the BECU Foundation gave $240,000 to 80 students through scholarships.
BECU also offered several hands-on financial education opportunities last year, such as Financial Health Check, webinars and seminars on budgeting and retirement planning, and financial reality fairs at schools across Washington that impacted more than 7,000 students.
The cooperative also invested in its member services in 2017, adding five new Neighborhood Financial Centers in Wallingford, Greenwood, Seattle Hill, West Seattle and North Spokane. BECU enhanced digital payment offerings by introducing Android and Samsung Pay, as well as enabling payments from wearable devices like FitBit Ionic and Garmin Vivoactive 3, and upgraded its nearly 250 ATMs to feature a streamlined main menu and better security features for members.
Henry Darakhovskiy Named BECU Vice President of Treasury
BECU welcomes Henry Darakhovskiy as its Vice President of Treasury. With more than 20 years of experience in the financial industry, Darakhovskiy brings a wealth of knowledge to the credit union and its members. He joins BECU from Flagstar Bank in Bellevue, Wash., where he served as Senior Vice President of Balance Sheet Risk Management, Treasury. Prior to that, Darakhovskiy has held leadership positions at other financial institutions, including Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and Washington Mutual Bank.
Darakhovskiy earned an MBA in Finance and Corporate Accounting from University of Rochester, in addition to a master’s degree in Economics and Business and bachelor’s degree in Computer and Information Systems.
Mount Hood Chapter Holds Earth Day Cleanup Event
NWCUA’s Mount Hood Chapter walked the talk when it recently partnered with Oregon’s SOLVE organization for a neighborhood Earth Day event. Credit union employee volunteers and their families mobilized on April 21 to clean up the Lloyd District neighborhood in Northeast Portland.
HAPO’s Newest Branch Achieves Well Building Standard Certification
HAPO Community Credit Union opened its newest branch at 13909 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd in Vancouver, Wash., its 18th location. The branch is a full-service financial center and the first credit union branch in the world to achieve a WELL Building Standard certification from the International WELL Building Institute, a public benefit corporation whose mission is to improve human health and well-being through the built environment.
With its newest building, HAPO Community Credit Union embraces new sustainability, resilience, and wellness strategies to support the health and wellness of its members and employees. Notably, the Vancouver branch will serve as a prototype and testing center for future HAPO Community Credit Union locations, as the organization escalates its sustainability and wellness vision throughout its portfolio of properties.
Branch features include ergonomic and flexible furniture, additional filtration for cleaner air and water lighting designed to support healthy circadian rhythms, improve visibility, and reduce glare, employee policies to encourage physical fitness and health education, wall coverings mimicking the facetted faces of the local Columbia River Gorge, abundant use of wood, a vision wall, and the integration of public art.
President and CEO of HAPO Community Credit Union Steve Anderson explains that HAPO Community Credit Union values the health and well-being of its employees and members, so its new facility in Vancouver, WA presented the ideal opportunity to bring wellness to life by pursuing WELL Building Standard certification.
“We are proud to bring the healthiest credit union in the world to our Vancouver members, and we look forward to increasing health and wellness in every community we serve,” Anderson said.