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The Bay Ridge Federal Credit Union is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.
In 1934, during the Great Economic Depression, most people were struggling to find a better way of life. It was impossible for people of modest means to gain access to bank credit at that time: a time when access to credit was necessary for people to rise from the poverty of the Depression.
To help people help themselves, the U.S. Congress passed a new law allowing groups of people to form not-for-profit cooperatives, called Credit Unions, to promote savings among themselves, and provide easier access to credit for the members of their group. That law was called the Federal Credit Union Act of 1934.
A small group of immigrants started their credit union in 1934. Today, 75 years later, Bay Ridge Federal Credit Union serves the descendents and families of the original founders, together with thousands of new members who joined their credit union over the years.
The money the members deposit to their federally-insured savings accounts at the credit union is the source of their low rate loans. The earnings on those loans are distributed back to the savers in the form of higher dividends than paid by other federally insured financial institutions. Credit union deposits are insured up to $100,000 by the federal government and backed by the full faith of the United States Treasury.
For more than 70 years they have continued to help people of modest means reach their financial goals with comfort and respect. Members include working people, small business owners, drivers and owners of NYC taxicabs and “black car” limousines, government employees, health care workers, immigrant families, senior citizens, as well as professional people form many different fields.
The credit union’s affairs are under the overall direction of a Board of Directors elected by the membership. Directors are volunteers and serve without compensation. Several of their directors are third generation descendents (grandchildren) of the original founders. They are individuals who are each experienced and successful in various professional fields of their own; and who have demonstrated their dedication to our credit union. They have been trained in federal credit union oversight and participate in continuing education programs.
The Board determines the policies, goals, budgets, and strategic plans of the credit union; receives monthly reports from President/CEO; and reviews reports from our federal regulators, the National Credit Union Administration, and outside independent auditors.
Management of the credit union’s day-to day business activities including directing their staff, facilities, financial operations, service to members, and compliance with pertinent government rules, regulations and laws, is under the direction of their president/CEO, who reports to the Board of Directors.
Their Supervisory Committee reviews audit reports, compliance with federal credit union rules and regulations, and adherence with applicable laws and generally accepted accounting principles. They watch over the operation of the credit union to make sure that everything is done in a correct, safe, sound, and authorized manner.
Since 1934 Bay Ridge Federal Credit Union has strived to accomplish a simple mission: To become community resource, and help more people of modest means in the community to have access to lower cost financial services. As a not-for-profit cooperative, they are a part of America’s Credit Unions, where people are worth more than money.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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