Happy New Year! Can you believe we just entered into a new decade?
As I reflect on the past 10 years, it has been filled with many changes in the credit union industry. All banks and credit unions were recovering from The Great Recession in the early years of the last decade as well as responding to new regulations being imposed on institutions.
About mid-decade, SESLOC made investments into infrastructure and technology with initiatives like the new headquarters campus, a core computer systems conversion, an enhanced online banking and bill payment system and an expanded charter allowing us to serve members from our newest branch in Santa Maria.
Building on that, we wrapped up the decade with several new products in mortgage lending, a new full line of business products and services, the Central Coast’s only free checking account — HomeFREE Checking — that gives debit rewards and identity theft services as a standard offering and most recently our Save to Win share certificate; a prize-linked savings account that offers the chance to win extra cash as increased deposits are made to the account.
As we navigate this decade, something that won’t change is our mission to help our members grow health savings habits. It is a frightening statistic that nearly half the adult population in the U.S. does not have basic savings to cover a $500 emergency, and financial stress is a leading cause of physical stress. We will continue to look for ways to encourage savings to help you build a safety cushion, to improve not only the health of your finances, but your lives.
The Save to Win program is new to California and to SESLOC, but it has helped credit union members in other states with programs save nearly $200 million over the past decade. Members can visit any branch to open a 12-month Save to Win Share Certificate. In December, we had five members with Save to Win accounts from Atascadero to Santa Maria win $25! The real value is the growth in their savings — you could be next!
Our commitment is to continue to provide value to our members and to our communities. Thanks for your loyalty!