President's Message 2024
What Happened in 2023?
Our 2023 began, once again, witnessing historically high inflation and the Federal Reserve combating this by aggressively increasing interest rates. These factors created a stressful and difficult environment for many financial institutions, which even caused two of the biggest national banks to close. While this was a tumultuous time, First Community Credit Union was able to push forwards and come out the other side.
- Despite the difficult economic environment, we had another strong year with solid income, increased our equity, grew loans by 90 million, and had a growth of nearly 70 million in total assets.
- This year, First Community Credit Union became an exclusive financial partner with University of North Dakota (UND) Athletics. This partnership was a huge first for our institution, and we could not be prouder of how it has turned out! With our exclusive UND debit cards and check blanks (credit cards arriving early 2024!), in-branch events, and advertising opportunities within the Ralph and Betty Engelstad arenas, the one-of-a-kind partnership has offered so much opportunity for not only the credit union, but for our members as well.
- In May, we held the groundbreaking ceremony for our newest branch in Moorhead, MN. Construction is well underway and has been going great.
- We continued to grow our digital banking options. People are now able to open checking accounts directly from our website, apply for loans online, and so much more.
What’s coming in 2024?
- We’re anticipating a steady decline in interest rates as the economy continues to heal in a post-Covid world. This hopefully means returning to a more normal landscape for the financial world with smaller increases and decreases of rates over longer periods of time, rather than the more rapid and larger increases we've seen the last few years.
- Our Moorhead, MN branch is set to open in July of this year! We currently serve many members from Moorhead, so we are thrilled to open a more convenient branch not only for them, but for future members as well!
What sets FCCU apart?
Our commitment to upholding our core values; community, integrity, passion, and growth. These are important cornerstones for who we are and what we do. Every decision that we make and action that we take needs to support these four core values. They can’t just be a quote on the wall, we must be committed to live them every day.
What excites you most for the future?
Our continued digital transition. More and more members are choosing to interact with us online, especially for more routine transactions. We’ve been working hard the last three years to bring a fully functional digital branch to our members so they can do everything from opening a new account, CDs, or getting instant approval on a new car loan. We are still committed to having the perfect mix of personal, in-branch services and the more independent, online services to ensure every member has a choice that works best for them.
Despite all the uncertainty our credit union has faced these past few years, we are growing vibrant and healthy. This is in no small part to the contributions from our FCCU team. I want to thank our board of directors for their guidance, and all our employees for their hard work and dedication to our credit union. Their efforts are much appreciated and have directly led to our successes. And finally, to our members. You are the credit union. Your commitment to a cooperative model for a financial institution and willingness to be part of something bigger has allowed us to grow and build the credit union to where it is.
Thank you again for another wonderful year, and I wish you all a safe, happy, and healthy 2024.
-Steve Schmitz, President/CEO
First Community Credit Union