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Three years later PolishSlavic FCU grows in Chicago
CHICAGO (11/30/12)--Less than three years ago Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Polish & Slavic FCU (PSFCU) began establishing three branches in Chicago. Thursday it announced those branches have attracted more than $100 million in deposits, nearly 9,000 new members, and more than $72 million in personal and mortgage loans.

The growth far exceeded the nation's largest ethnic credit union's expectations, PSFCU said in a press release Thursday.

The $1.5 billion credit union long had confined its branch operations to the New York metropolitan area until January 2010, when it opened two branches in the Windy City. A year later, it opened a third branch in the Polish community of Bridgeview, outside Chicago's southern border.

"Opening new branches in Illinois was a natural step forward in the growth of our credit union," said Marzena Wierzbowska, chairperson of the PSFCU board of directors. "With the changing dynamics of the Polish population in the U.S., we needed to start expanding to new markets and Chicago was an obvious choice."

The credit union attracted 8,600 members by introducing modern branches in Mt. Prospect, Norridge, and Bridgeview. It quickly became a visible presence at various Polish cultural events and parades; it organized and financed numerous children's programs; and it instituted a scholarship program for high school and college students.

"The efforts by PSFCU to serve the growing needs of the Polish American community in the Chicago area have been nothing less than outstanding," said Michael Fryzel, board member of the National Credit Union Administration.  The growth "is a clear indication of their vision and analysis of the need for credit union services for thousands of individuals. When I attended the opening of their first Chicago branch, I knew that the credit union would be successful." He noted it has proven is abilities beyond his expectations and he expects continued growth and success due to the credit union's efforts and commitment."

In addition to the three Chicago branches, PSFCU has 12 branches in New York or New Jersey.

"We still have more work to do and I'm confident that this is only the beginning of our success," said Zbigniew Rogalski, vice president and head of the Midwest district for the PSFCU.  "It really is astonishing what we've accomplished in such a short period of time.  It's a testament to our people and our organization."

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