The Monroe County Teachers Federal Credit Union is preparing to bring a branch straight to our local high schools, and also bring financial literacy programs to the students’ curriculum.
“This allows us to better serve our younger members and keeps with our basic goal of serving the entire educational community of the Keys,” said CEO Jerry Bolduc.
Monroe County Teachers Federal Credit Union is celebrating close to 60 years by sticking with their mission: Serving the entire educational community of the Keys.
And they’re not just serving, but growing. According Bolduc, the credit union grew deposits and loans by 28% and 31% respectively, while maintaining a net worth at nearly 12%. They also recorded record earnings with a 1.6% return on assets.
“This even though we paid out nearly 50% more in interest to our members,” points out Bolduc, “while similar size institutions were reporting losses both statewide and nationally.”
Perhaps, most importantly in tough economic times, it’s important to note the Monroe County Teachers Federal Credit Union’s loan delinquency and losses were on average three to five times lower than all other financial institutions.
Bolduc and his staff are making money after a wake-up call years ago.
“The credit union discovered their long-time manager had misappropriated over $1.25 million in funds, which was about 20% of the credit union’s assets at the time,” Bolduc detailed.
The revelations made Bolduc, who has over a quarter of a century working with credit unions, retire… from retirement! He came onboard to do what is best for the credit union’s customers.
“Needless to say, we had to step back and take a close look at everything we were doing. First we had to correct all of our recordkeeping concerns and ensure we had proper internal controls to prevent a reoccurrence of that event,” he explained. “We also went through all of our operations with a fine-tooth comb, renegotiated several of our service provider contracts and became more efficient and effective while cutting our operating expenses by about 30%.”
The process took his staff about a year to get everything back on track, including the settlement of our bond claim to recoup most of the lost funds. By mid 2008, they began to move forward with a clear and simple focus: the customer is always right!
As with any credit union, the customers are the members. At this institution they also happen to be the owners of the credit union.
Unlike banks, which use their customers’ deposits to earn a return for their stockholders, credit unions are non-profit financial institutions owned and operated by and for the membership. Although this situation allows advantages over banks, the same principles apply – if you want to be successful, you have to build a good product and sell it at a fair price.
The reason many businesses falter is they lose sight of the skill sets necessary to be successful, i.e. providing a good product or service; instead, they focus only on the end result – the profit!
“We knew we had to grow to survive in the long run, so we looked at what our advantages and disadvantages were and went about our business, that is, providing our members a fair return on their deposits and the best rate on loans,” Bolduc asserts.
By keeping operating costs down, the Monroe County teachers Federal Credit Union gains important leverage in pricing their products. In addition, they only operate one branch since members increasingly want their financial services to be delivered electronically. Since the launch and subsequent upgrade of monroecountyteachersfcu.org online usage has increased.
Most importantly this credit union prides itself on not wasting members’ money on frivolous or unnecessary items.
Employees receive competitive benefits and adequate training, and competitive rates on savings and loan programs are being promoted.
Bolduc adds, “We target certain types of deposit programs, such as retirement accounts, which tend to have longer maturities which, in turn, allow us to make longer maturity loans as well. We now have a very good mix of savings and loan programs.”
Right now, the MCTFCU’s main focus is to increase membership, utilize economies of scale and keep operating costs to a minimal.
Currently, membership is now open to employees, retirees, and family members of the school district and of Florida Keys Community College, as well as students. MCTFCU is located at 1400 United Street. Their number is 296•8546.
Marlene & Mardee
Member services representative Marlene Norat-Machado, member Bob Killen, and Mardee Rath–Eamilao, member services representative, at the annual meeting held at the Doubletree.
Stand up for education
Stand up for Education winner John Gorman Jr. is pictured with his mom, Holly Hummel-Gorman.
MCTFCU CEO Jerry Bolduc (right) with the newest member of the institutions board of directors, Jim Hall (left).