Michigan credit unions go back-to-back winning national award

ST. JOSEPH, MI (August 5, 2014) — Winning a national award is an exciting prospect, so last year when the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) named United Federal Credit Union (UFCU) – based in St. Joseph, Michigan – the 2013 National Federal Credit Union of the Year among credit unions with $751 million or more in assets, employees and Members were thrilled about the recognition. Recently the 2014 winner was announced, and for the second year in a row a Michigan credit union claimed one of the highest honors in the financial industry. Michigan State University Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU) – headquartered in East Lansing, Michigan – was named 2014 Federal Credit Union of the Year by NAFCU among credit unions with more than $250 million in assets.

“On behalf of the team at United Federal Credit Union, we would like to congratulate our friends at MSUFCU for their accomplishments and are proud to see another Michigan credit union shine in the national spotlight” said Gary Easterling, UFCU President/CEO.

Credit unions are judged for the award based on growth, success, innovative Member service, adherence to principles of sound financial management, positive impact within their communities, and commitment to consumer education or service to low-moderate-income Members.

MSUFCU was recognized for helping save their Members millions in interest and for a variety of growth opportunities including the completion of a merger with Eaton County Educational Credit Union (ECECU) and the expansion of a longtime partnership with Oakland University. Like UFCU the year before, MSUFCU employees were also commended for donating their personal time and resources to better their communities.

The recent success of these two Michigan-based credit unions comes at a time when the financial industry is still working to achieve stability. Increased regulation from the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – established by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 – has created more challenges for financial institutions and has caused many to rethink their strategic plans. According to the CFPB website (, the Bureau’s enforcement actions have resulted in $4.6 billion in relief for roughly 15 million consumers harmed by illegal banking practices.

David Adams, Michigan Credit Union League & Affiliates CEO is proud to see UFCU and MSUFCU successfully navigate through these new regulations in a responsible way while still staying focused on serving Members.

“MSUFCU serves as a shining example of the credit union difference through its exemplary Member service, innovative ideas and commitment to growth,” said MCUL CEO David Adams. “Institutions like MSUFCU and UFCU have helped to position Michigan as a leader in the nationwide movement.”

As a long-time proponent of Michigan economic growth and as a credit union Member, Michigan State Representative Al Pscholka (R-Stevensville), is encouraged by the back-to-back awards and the dedication to service shown by UFCU and MSUFCU employees.

“For Michigan to be recognized two years in a row is great news and a testament to the great teams of people at both of these credit unions,” said Pscholka. “Credit unions are about Members and about service to people. United Federal Credit Union and MSU Federal Credit Union are the gold standard in service.”

Pscholka also sees the national recognition as a message to the rest of the country that Michigan is a great place to conduct business.

“This recognition says a great deal about Michigan and about the changes that have been made that has Michigan being called the “Comeback State,” Pscholka said. “These well-deserved national honors signal that Michigan is a great place to invest, do business and live.”

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 25% of American adults believe the U.S. economy will be stronger a year from now. But according to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan’s economic growth rate is the best in the Midwest and is sixth best in the country.

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