1. How is this better for members?
2. What is the geographic area you can now serve?
- With a state charter, we can now serve an increased geographic field of membership that also includes our former four counties.
- Expanding our service footprint in a thoughtful, deliberate manner will allow us to continue to provide the competitive products and services members have come to expect, as well as increase the number of New Yorkers who can benefit from our affordable financial options.
- Future investments in branches and technology will benefit existing and future members as we expand our footprint.
- With this change, current members will see no adverse changes to the competitive products and services they already use with us and their accounts will continue to be insured by National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) through the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF).
- Because we will retain our Federal insurance, the credit union will be subject to two exams annually – one by the NCUA and one by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS). This will provide an additional review each year to verify the safety and security of our operations.
We can serve those who live, work, worship, attend school, or volunteer in Albany, Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rensselaer, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Ulster, and Westchester Counties.
3. Will my accounts still be insured?
Yes, the credit union retains our federally insured status, so the maximum amounts of insurance and the structure of insurance remains the same. Detailed account insurance information is available at www.ncua.gov. This insurance means NCUA will continue to examine our credit union each year, in addition to a new exam from the DFS.
4. Has our name changed?
Yes, we are now Hudson Valley Credit Union.
5. I live outside New York State. Can I still remain a credit union member?
Yes, absolutely. We will continue to serve all current members, regardless of their geographic location.
6. What does this mean for the safety and soundness of the credit union?
A major reason for making this change is to help us maintain our safety and soundness in the future by continuing to grow. We believe our financial cooperative will only be stronger in the future for having additional market opportunities. In addition, having two examinations each year (one by DFS and one by NCUA) will provide members the assurance of additional oversight.
7. What are your immediate plans for expansion?
The credit union will carefully review new markets and look to expand in a measured fashion where our analysis indicates there are favorable opportunities for growth.
8. Will you be sending new checks and debit/credit cards with the new name?
We will replace those items over time. Members can continue using the supplies of checks and individual debit/credit cards they currently have.
9. Will there be changes to our member account numbers, account IDs, or the credit union’s routing number?
No – these will not change.
10. Will the credit union’s website change?
We will begin to use hvcu.org as our domain name, but hvfcu.org will still reach our new page. The look and functionality of our website will not change.
11. Will there be any changes to Bill Pay or Internet/Mobile Banking?
While there are no functional changes required because of the charter conversion, we are moving to a new Internet Banking/Mobile Banking/Bill Pay system in October. Some functionality will change with the upgrade, and we’ve already begun to communicate those changes through our website, social media, newsletters, branch signage, special emails to members, and Internet Banking messages. Please be sure to review the information we’re sending carefully so you’re prepared for the upgrade scheduled for October 22nd
12. Why would you change from a Federal to a State Charter?
We strongly believe that a State Charter will provide better prospects for long-term growth by allowing us to serve even more of our fellow New Yorkers and their families.
13. What’s the difference between a federal and a state charter?
The most basic difference is oversight - Federally chartered credit unions are primarily regulated by the NCUA and State-chartered credit unions are primarily regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (the DFS). There are minor differences in the standard bylaws for Federal and State credit unions, but none of these will change how we serve members. Because we will retain members account insurance through NCUSIF, both NCUA and the DFS will conduct annual examinations of our safety and soundness.
14. Did members get a say in this change?
Yes, members received mail ballots in early May, and the voting ended May 16, 2019. The final vote tally was over 10,000 votes with 63% in favor of the resolution to convert to a New York State Charter.
15. How can this happen when so few members voted?
The NCUA regulations require a majority of those members who vote to approve the charter conversion. While the total number of votes seems low in comparison to our overall membership, they are in fact similar to the number of responses we receive annually in our Board of Directors Election process.
We encourage all members to remain active by participating in votes like this one and our elections.
16. Why do this now?
After more than 18 months of review, your Board and management came to the conclusion that a State Charter will allow us more latitude for further expansion and greater potential for future growth.
17. Will the credit union have to pay taxes?
The credit union will remain exempt from Federal Income Tax, but will be subject to some State-level taxes and will continue to pay the same real estate taxes we have always paid. We strongly believe our growth potential far outweighs these minimal new expenses.
18. Does the composition of our Board change?
No, our credit union will maintain a nine-member volunteer Board. The governance structure of the credit union will remain the same.
19. How is the credit union going to be any different than a bank?
As a credit union, regardless of charter, we remain committed to our cooperative principles and pledge to provide members with the affordable products and services they have always enjoyed with us. We also remain very focused on being an outstanding community partner, and look forward to reaching out to the new communities that we may potentially serve.
20. Do any volunteers, board members, or staff benefit monetarily from this change?
21. How is a NYS charter less restrictive than a federal charter?
Federal credit unions have very restrictive guidelines for community charter expansion. The New York State Department of Financial Services allows greater flexibility for community charter expansion for state chartered credit unions.