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Speak UP!

I just returned from the Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington D.C. It is always a good meeting and I love hiking the hill to ask for support on credit union issues.

I came back this trip feeling aggravated as I heard that the Democrats and Republicans are not speaking to each other. They are so stuck on their opinions that we have no compromise and no solutions to our problems. I guess that I didn’t realize that this was the way of our elected officials. I think it’s wrong and I believe we elected them expecting that they would work through issues, even if it means a compromise.

I urge everyone to write to their representatives and to the President of our GREAT United States. Tell them, we want solutions and not silence!


Claressa Shields – 17 Year Old Olympic Gold Medalist

This young lady has really taken a place in my heart. I am so proud of her, not only for winning the gold medal in an inaugural event, but for making great choices in the process.

Claressa didn’t have any easy childhood. There were many reasons she could have chosen not to pursue her boxing dream of winning a gold medal. I’m sure that she would have liked to give up a time or two but something inside her kept her going. She was disciplined to working hard every day, even when she didn’t feel like it.

She chooses to do well in school knowing that education is the key to a prosperous life. She shows respect for her family and Flint even when they haven’t always been there for her.

How can we teach other young people what Claressa knows? How can we help them believe they are capable of anything they put their mind to? How can we get them to understand that no matter what, there are always choices and they determine their destiny by the choices they make?


We Have a Special TEAM!

Often times, people will say “I don’t know what you are doing at ELGA, but keep it up!” They follow up with “Employees seem so happy here”. They can feel the difference when they walk in the door. It’s true, people are happy here. It’s because of the genuine, caring people we employ. We have a leadership team that works hard to listen to understand the needs of our associates and our members. They are committed to lifelong learning and are dedicated to their team. So much so they recently invested in a weekend together to learn more about team work and communication. The highlight was twenty five leaders participating in the Warrior Dash! Every one of us finished the race with yes, mud on our face as we cheered each other on, helping us to conquer our fears. It was an amazing experience and I was so proud to be a member of this awesome team!

 

 


Value of Being an ELGA Credit Union Member

The Credit Union National Associates have determined that ELGA Credit Union provided $5,910,443 in direct financial benefits to our 44,210 members in 2011!

This equates to $254 per member household.  Loyal member households using ELGA for all or most of their financial needs received an estimated $1,667 in direct benefits. This is based on lower loan rates, higher deposit rates, and lower fees charged compared to Michigan Banks.

Why would anyone chose to use a bank and lose out on the benefits of being an ELGA Credit Union member?


Compromised Cards

I’m sorry to say that a number of ELGA Members had cards compromised in the past couple of months.  We immediately blocked them to reduce the fraud that can take place once card numbers are compromised.  This is a terrible inconvenience for our members and we appreciate your understanding.

Many have asked how this happens and in a nutshell. . . 

  • Merchants use a processor for sales paid by debit or credit card.
  • If the processor for the merchant doesn’t have the proper security measures in place, a hacker can get into their system and steal the data. 

This shouldn’t happen although it does.  The quicker we can act on blocking the cards the better off we all are.  It is so important that you safe guard your cards by knowing where they are at all times.  It’s also a great idea to review your checking account transactions at least monthly. 

If you aren’t signed up for Internet banking, do so right away for 24-7 access to your account information.  As always, we value your membership and welcome your feedback.


Income, Income, Income

How do we make our income?

  • Interest on loans.
  • Fees for services.
  • Interchange from debit and credit card usage.
  • Commission from insurance & investment sales.

What do we do with our income?

  • We pay for the expenses of running the business.
  • We set aside the funds (reserves) necessary for down economies to guarantee that we will be able to hold our own through any unexpected hard times.  (The past two years have tested the strength of our reserve.) We refer to our required reserves as our “safety net”.
  • We pay dividends to our depositors.

What could we do with more income?

  • Build our reserves quicker.
  • Open new branches.
  • Increase our associates’ earnings.
  • Pay our members an annual rebate bonus based on the products used.

 

 


The Cost of Inactivity

The maintenance cost for each inactive member is at least $55 per year.  We have approximately 12,000 inactive members, which cost us $660 thousand dollars per year.

We must learn what it would take to make these inactive members want to do their business with us. If we aren’t the right fit for their needs and they don’t use our products or services, we are forced to close their accounts with inactivity fees.  This happens after one year of inactivity.


Relationships Require Trust

All good relationships have open communication and utilize great listening skills. Judgments aren’t made and understanding is key. There are no secrets!

ELGA Credit Union wants to have this kind of relationship with you, our member. We will provide you with information about the financials and explain how you benefit from the income we earn.

You must think of ELGA for all your borrowing and deposit needs. We will listen until we understand how you have determined that you will be able to pay back your loans. We will pay you the best return possible on your deposit accounts based on our earnings.

Bottom line is mutual trust will build a beautiful relationship that you and your credit union will thrive on.


What – You Want Me to Have a Relationship With You?

We all want meaningful relationships. We want that deeper connection with friends, spouses, children, and yes, even with our banking. Relationships require two or more people willing to build trust and loyalty.

Here at ELGA, we want to build lifelong relationships with you, our members. We want to be able to earn your deposit and loan business, to the point that you don’t think of any other financial institution when you need something. We want to provide you with WOW service every time we help you. We want you to let us know when we come up short on products or service. You know, all the things that happen in a good relationship.

We want you to use ELGA Credit Union for loans, VISA, checking, savings, direct deposit, investments, and anything else that has to do with banking. That’s the kind of relationship we want to build with you.

We want to love you and for you to love us!