|7/16/2019 9:53:00 AM|
In 30 years FACU has added five locations
Not long ago, Fulda Area Credit Union reached 10,000 members, an amazing number for a 30-year-old organization.
Like most businesses, FACU relies on solid customer service. But there are other keys to its success.
"We have an alternative source of banking compared to normal banks," said Linda Jacobson, FACU president. "We are member owned and our goal is to serve our members."
As a not-for-profit organization, any earnings are returned to members in the form of higher dividends, lower loan rates and free or reduced fee services.
In September of 1986, when FACU opened, there was a good deal of local and national news coverage because it was billed as the first ag credit union in 30 years.
"We were hoping to solve some credit problems in the rural ag economy," Jacobson said. "Our field of membership was originally 40 townships, located around Fulda and in parts of Murray, Cottonwood, Nobles and Jackson counties."
Since then, FACU has added five branches in the four counties. Those are located in Windom, Jackson, Worthington, JBS (packing plant) and Mt. Lake. The Windom branch opened in 2005, moving into its new building in 2017. The Mt. Lake office opened in 2016.
The organization employs 50 people and has about $120 million in assets."
Jacobson said one of the most important factors in Fulda Area Credit Union reaching the 10,000 member mark was the addition of new branches.
"Being able to go into these new communities and offer convenient service to residents has been important," Jacobson added. "Originally, when we just had the Fulda office, it probably wasn't all that convenient for someone in, say, Jackson, to bank with us. By opening branches, we were able to reach out to more people in those four counties."
Meanwhile, FACU shows no signs of slowing down. "I would like to continue to expand," Jacobson said. "We frequently get calls from other communities asking if we would consider opening a branch there."
She added that growth doesn't always come easily.
"When we opened in Fulda, a lot of people didn't know what a credit union was," Jacobson said. "A lot of it is educating people as to what we are and what we can do. We continue to provide our members the best service we can."
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