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Member-owners Receive Year-end Bonus Dividends from CUs
MADISON, Wis. (12/30/13)--When credit unions distribute dividends at year end, they highlight their success and the benefits of being a member-owner of their institutions.
A number of credit unions recently announced patronage payments worth millions back to their members. Many coincided with the holiday season, giving member-owners a timely bonus.
In Peoria, Ill., CEFCU announced a record dividend of $12 million, with $6 million going to borrowers and $6 million going to savers. "When business for a credit union is better than projected, members share in those benefits," said Mark Spenny, president/CEO of the $4.8 billion-asset credit union. Over the past 14 years, CEFCU has returned $75 million in dividends to its member-owners.
More than $11 million will be distributed to members of Dow Chemical Employees' CU, Midland, Mich. The $1.4 billion-asset credit union will rebate 60% of the total interest paid on eligible loans to borrowers in good standing and give an additional 60% of interest earned to depositors in good standing. The percentage is the highest in the credit union's dividend history.
Eastman CU, Kingsport, Tenn., notified its member-owners that its extraordinary dividend--a record-breaking $6 million--will be distributed to their savings accounts in January.  The credit union said this is the 17th year of rewarding loyal members, bringing the historical total to $61 million. "This year's extraordinary dividend is just another affirmation of ECU's commitment to members," said Olan O. Jones, president/CEO of the $2.8 billion-asset credit union.
Interest rebates and dividend bonuses at Guardian CU, Montgomery, Ala., were distributed to more than 20,000 members the week before Christmas. The $244 million-asset credit union said it anticipated that the $785,000 would have a significant impact on the community and local businesses as members reinvested the funds into the local economy. In three years, Guardian CU has distributed $2.3 million.
The board of $858 million-asset Goldenwest CU approved a 4.25% bonus for its share-savings program, resulting in $760,000 going back to members. In his blog, President/CEO Kerry Wahlen said that in the past 10 years, the Ogden, Utah-based credit union has distributed $5.875 million to members.
More than $1.3 million in loyalty dividends was deposited into members' accounts at Scott CU, Edwardsville, Ill. The $922 million-asset credit union gave an additional 3% on deposits and a 3% rebate on loan interest. "All of our members own the credit union, and they benefit when we are successful," said President/CEO Frank Padak (The Edwardsville Intelligencer Dec. 20). In the past five years, members have received more than $4.6 million in bonus dividends and loan interest rebates.
For the 17th consecutive year, member-owners of Hanscom FCU, Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts, will receive a loyalty dividend. The $1 billion-asset credit union will pay 1% on earned dividends and consumer loan finance charges, over and above the regular dividends earned throughout the year.
Dividends are not restricted to natural person members. The board of directors of Louisiana's CU Cooperative Branching approved a 4.5% dividend to credit unions who are shareholders in the shared branching credit union service organization (eNews Dec. 18).

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