To our members,
BECU’s heritage began in 1935 during the Great Depression, when a group of Boeing employees pooled funds together to provide each other with small loans for buying the equipment required to do their jobs. This humble beginning, and the credit union philosophy of “People Helping People,” fueled the formation of BECU.
This past year, we formalized and declared our purpose: “Bringing people together to improve the financial well-being of our members and their communities.” As your credit union, our focus is on removing barriers, solving problems and creating opportunities to empower you to reach your financial goals. And at no other time in our recent history has this been more important as our members and communities face the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a financial cooperative, BECU’s overall economic health continues to create additional opportunity for us to invest and return profits to our members and local region. We ended 2019 with 1.2 million members and more than $22.2 billion in assets. Our work this past year ensures that BECU remains in a strong financial position so that we can help support our employees, members and communities during times of economic uncertainty.
Looking back, examples of how we reinvested profits into our membership in 2019 include:
- Returned $388 million to members (an average of $322 per member—$46 more than we returned in 2018) through better rates and fewer fees compared to bank averages.
- Saved almost 55,000 members an estimated $2.3 million through our Reprice program, which automatically reduces interest rates on loans and credit cards for eligible members who demonstrate healthy financial habits.
- Assisted members in purchasing 285 homes with $1.5 million in funds, through the First-Time Homebuyer Grant program.
- Refunded ATM Fees saving Member Advantage members over $6.2 million in out-of-network ATM surcharges.
In 2019, the credit union also funded a wide array of community partners with grants totaling $6.4 million. We primarily focused on financial well-being, in line with our purpose. But we also gave to organizations suggested by our members, loaned to nonprofits innovating smarter housing solutions and supported programs for the next generation of business leaders—all to improve our communities.
Our strength has enabled us to innovate and assist members and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For consumer and business members, this includes payment relief assistance, deferred payment options, loans and more. Locally, we are also helping to fund eight nonprofit organizations driving response efforts in BECU communities that will make long-term positive impacts for those who need it most.
Our membership reflects everyone from first-graders opening their first saving account to business owners ready for personalized assistance, fewer fees and enthusiastic support. New student loan options, emergency fund support and continuing education scholarships work to improve the future earnings prospects for our region’s adults. And our educational outreach provides children, teens and adults with the financial knowledge and resources necessary to navigate the economic landscape. Our decisions are guided by our purpose, and our purpose is inspired by our commitment to you—our members.
With one another’s support, we’ll make it through adversity and challenging times. We appreciate your commitment to BECU, and we promise to remain dedicated to supporting the members and communities we serve.
Susan Ehrlich, Chair, BECU Board of Directors
Benson Porter, President & Chief Executive Officer
Continue to other sections of our 2019 Annual Report:
II. BECU + COMMUNITY
III. BECU + CREW
IV. BY THE NUMBERS