New United Federal location opensPublished 10:53am Monday, January 25, 2010
By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star
Ahead of schedule and under budget – United Federal Credit Union (UFCU) celebrated the grand opening of its new location in a brand new facility located on South 11th Street in Niles, last week.
The new facility is equipped with a fresh, new look, an open and airy reception area, “teller pods” where customers can feel comfortable getting service from any of the credit union employees and automatic cash dispensing machines general manager James Knight said are more accurate than formerly used, traditional drawers.
The new facility is just another example of the increase in membership and overall utilization of credit unions by the general public.
“The reasoning for the second branch down there was for the demand,” Marc Briney, director of marketing for UFCU, said.
The location puts the credit union “in a place where we can grow,” he said.
In addition to providing a convenient stop for members traveling down the South 11th Street corridor – leading them in and out of Indiana, the branch also opens up the opportunity to gain more members.
“This is a convenient option for them,” Knight said.
Even as many Americans struggled through the worst of recent economic turmoil, credit unions along with small banks have emerged as a means for many to not only regain financial stability but find renewed trust in those who handle their finances.
Looking back as far as 2008, Briney said, “it was a good time for credit unions to tell their story. It was just the right timing to for us to put that message out.
More and more people are taking a second and closer look at their financials, Briney said. In doing so they’re looking for smart options to hang on to and make the most of their money and they are looking for people they can trust to help.
United Federal offers budget counseling, a variety of online services, mortgage lending and auto financing as well as standard checking and savings, investment planning and insurance offers.
“We like to look at where you are,” financially, Knight said. “We try to take a more global approach one member at a time.”
Plans for the new, more than 4,000 square-foot facility were announced last year and construction was expected to be completed in March.
A grand opening ceremony was held Wednesday with members of the Niles community, the Four Flags Area Chamber of Commerce and officials from United Federal Credit Union.