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President's Message

Photo of Ronald L. Westad

First Quarter 2019

A belated Happy New Year to you and yours! We welcomed 2019 with certain changes to our account structures and membership dues that most members will view favorably. We made substantial efforts to communicate these changes in advance via our last issue of Financially Empowered magazine and more customized emails and letters to all members. In case you missed our communications, here’s a quick recap:

  • We are no longer charging $3 monthly membership dues to all members.
  • Our Everything Account has been renamed Checking Plus, and there is a $3 monthly fee, which is waived if you complete 10 or more qualifying transactions, or if you’re under 21 years of age.
  • As a function of federal regulations governing credit unions, and as part of our bylaws, all members are required to hold a Membership Share Account. Our prior $25 par value of a membership share has been reduced to $0.01. And to avoid confusion for our members with regard to this regulatory requirement, Arizona Federal has opened and funded a separate account on behalf of all members to meet the membership share requirement.
  • To be eligible for Plus Payouts in 2019 all that’s required is a Checking Plus account, and payouts will be in the form of bonus dividends and loan interest refunds.

Speaking of Plus Payouts, on December 31 we distributed our biggest payout in the last seven years – $6.5 million – bringing our total payout since 2012 to more than $36 million! When Arizona Federal performs well financially, we return surplus capital to our active members. This is a fundamental difference between your credit union and other for-profit financial service providers – they return earnings to their stockholders or other outside interests, not to you as their customer. We exist to serve you, our member-owners, and we will continue to work hard every day to earn your business and trust.

Another point of differentiation for our locally-owned, not-for-profit cooperative is our trustees, or member-elected Board of Directors, who volunteer their time and service to all of us. They represent the interests of all members through their effective credit union governance, ensuring positive financial results, appropriate enterprise risk management, regulatory compliance, and membership value creation. Three of our existing Board members are currently up for re-election. You can read their profiles in Financially Empowered. If you’re interested in serving as a volunteer Board member, we’ve included information in the magazine on how to submit a petition to be added to the upcoming ballot, or give us a call at (602) 683-1000 for details.

One additional change you’re likely to notice is to Financially Empowered. We’re migrating portions of the magazine online. Each quarter we’ll continue to provide you with important cooperative updates through a printed and mailed magazine, but we’re moving much of our financial education content to the online version of Financially Empowered.

Thank you, as always, for your membership and participation with Arizona Federal Credit Union. Our commitments remain to financially empower members, be relevant and reduce “friction” so we’re easy to do business with. It’s a combination of offering convenience, care and lower-cost/higher-return. To these ends, you’ll see more changes over the course of 2019 intended to enhance your membership experience and ultimately provide greater value to you on an everyday basis.


Ronald L. Westad
President and Chief Executive Officer

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