Credit unions that serve local and state government employees in North Carolina will be ending their relationship of nearly four decades, as Local Government Federal Credit Union has announced it will become independent next year.
In a letter to members dated February 2, LGFCU Chief Executive Officer Dwayne Naylor announced the credit union’s Board of Directors approved breaking off from State Employees Credit Union.
LGFCU is a statewide credit union exclusively serving North Carolina’s local government employees and volunteers, elected and appointed officials, and their families, and partners with SECU to give members full services at SECU’s branches and ATM network.
A Supreme Court decision in 1979 required SECU to expel local government employees from its membership. SECU then assisted LGFCU in obtaining a federal charter in 1983.
LGFCU assets currently exceed $3 billion with more than 380,000 members representing all of North Carolina’s 100 counties and 540 towns, cities and villages.
“Frankly, when LGFCU was created 39 years ago, it was with the understanding that providing services through SECU would not last forever,” Naylor said.
“Now is the right time for this change, and SECU is committed to assisting LGFCU in our efforts to make this transition,” Naylor said. “Our Board of Directors has prepared for this evolution toward independence and is dedicated to serving the local government community.
Naylor said the goal for LGFCU’s independence is March 2024, and that members will not have to do anything when the change eventually happens.
“It’s your same Credit Union operating differently. Your direct deposits, BillPay, loans, automatic transfers, etc., will remain the same,” Naylor said. “We’ll do all the work to transition your accounts.
Left out of the announcement was any information about LGFCU having its own locations. Members can currently conduct business at SECU’s 274 branches statewide.
The announcement did said LGFCU will offer the “convenience of banking from the comfort of your home, office or anywhere, anytime, rather than traveling to a branch.”
LGFCU’s sister credit union, Civic Federal Credit Union, has no branches and only conducts business online or by phone.
Naylor said in the announcement that LGFCU staff will “move to the frontline to directly provide products and services designed specifically for our local government members.”
“We are well positioned to respond to the needs of our local government members to help you build wealth faster. Civic Federal Credit Union was launched by LGFCU for our local government members to build a financial institution positioned for the future — one built to compete in the market and leverage technology that allows us to serve our members better than anyone, anywhere,” Naylor said.
“Through the combination of LGFCU and Civic, we’re creating the best financial institution for local government on rates, service and purpose,” according to Naylor. “We are working collaboratively with SECU to coordinate this transition.”
LGFCU plans to hold local government summits around the state to receive feedback from members, and has established a website to track the status of the break-up at lgfcu.org/independence.