A Walk Through Time

1950s TV

The 1950s: When it All Began

Ed Montermini, a young, recently married state employee, needed help to make a $500 down payment for a small home in Olympia. Because of his short tenure with the state, he couldn't find a lender that would help him. That simple dilemma began a journey that led to the creation of WSECU. Ed remains a member today. On July 16, 1957, a charter was issued to WSECU, enabling members of Local 443 to join the credit union. In December, membership totaled 65.

1958

Membership was expanded to include all state employees, the Washington State Employees Association, Washington Federation of State Employees and WSECU employees. In December, the first dividend (3½%) was declared.

1960s dining room

The 1960s

We began the decade with 1,293 members and $198,000 in assets.

1967

Assets had grown to $5.5 million.

1969

The debenture program was established, giving members who had a minimum of $5,000 on deposit the opportunity to borrow money without collateral.

1970s Radio

The 1970s

We kicked off the 70s with 11,534 members and $8.4 million in assets. Throughout the decade, we opened four branches: Seattle, Medical Lake, Spokane and Pullman, respectively.

1973

We welcomed Firland Credit Union members through a merger. We also opened our Medical Lake branch.

1977

Assets had risen to $36 million and corporate headquarters moved to a larger space. Yay team!

1978

We opened branches in Spokane and Pullman.

1979

Our Share Draft Department was established – in other words, we began the process for offering checking accounts.

1980s roller skates

The 1980s

The 80s began with 39,688 members and assets leaped to $52 million. We also installed our first in-house computer system and piloted our checking account program.

1981

The All Savers Certificate was offered at a whopping 12.61%!

1984

We became the eighth largest credit union in the state with $70 million in assets. Our Chehalis branch was established as a result of a merger with Lewis County Employees CU. We opened our University branch.

1985

We celebrated hitting $100 million in assets.

1986

Our Pullman Grand branch opened its doors.

We began offering Visa cards.

1987

Our WSECU scholarship program was established to help members achieve the dream of a college education.

1988

We joined forces with New Market Skills Center's Academy of Finance in Tumwater to offer internships to high school students to give them firsthand experience in the workplace.

1990s floppy disks

The 1990s

The decade began with just over 59,000 members and $254 million in assets.

1990

Our Contact Center was established.

1991

We opened a branch in Lacey and offered Saturday hours for the first time.

1992

Our Yakima branch opened, establishing a presence in the central part of the state.

1994

We opened our Seattle branch and introduced debit cards. Membership was offered to students at the University of Washington, Washington State University and Evergreen State College.

1996

Lacey Credit Union Center, a joint branch with TwinStar Credit Union, was established. We also installed ATMs at our Lakewood and Pullman CUB branches.

1997

ATMs were installed at two state department locations: the DOT and DOE. Our Visa Gold card was introduced.

1998

Our Spokane Valley branch opened. 

Y2K

The New Millennium

The new century began and Y2K turned out to be a big non-issue. WSECU started off the millennium with 105,656 members. We also went through some significant changes for the good.

2000

The proposal to expand the field of membership to include public school employees was presented to the Board of Directors, who agreed to the recommendation.

2001

Our field of membership was officially expanded to include public school employees.

2002

We established our first Brand Promise, which is a unifying vision for how WSECU seeks to deliver outstanding service to members. We introduced our Overdraft Privilege service.

2003

We surpassed the $1 billion mark in assets. One Washington Financial (our CUSO – Credit Union Service Organization) began offering mortgages to our membership and to members of partner credit unions. We also joined the Shared Branching network.

2004

Skip-A-Pay was offered seasonally. We introduced our Easy Equity Line of Credit and expanded our Visa program to include secured, student, gold and platinum Reward cards. Visa gift cards were available for purchase at our branches. Q-Cash also made its debut.

A longtime Board of Directors' vision, The Vault, our youth financial education curriculum, was launched.

We began our brandwear program for employees to have consistent colors and WSECU logos on business clothing (shirts, blouses, sweaters, etc.).

We were recognized in Best Places to Work in Washington.

Our Martin Way branch opened.

2005

Our West Olympia branch opened.

2007

We celebrated our 50th anniversary in several ways, including a purchase of property in Olympia for our new corporate headquarters building and a special anniversary logo.

2008

Ground was broken for the new headquarters building.

2009

Our headquarters and Olympia branch moved into its beautiful new LEEDs Gold home.

We launched our Business Visa Rewards card.

JustU Accounts were introduced for members 18-25 years old.

2010

Our Visa Rewards program extended to our debit cards.

2011

We expanded our Mobile Banking service with an app for smartphones and a browser-based option.

2012

A new and improved Online Banking service launched with enhanced capabilities in a more user-friendly environment.

2013

We opened a new branch in Tumwater Town Center to better serve our public employees in that area.

Our Pullman Grand branch moved to a new location and a brand new facility.

After careful consideration and months of discussion, we opened our field of membership to anyone in Washington State with a special focus on those who, like our public employees, have the dedication and desire to serve and make a difference in our communities.

2014

Following the decision to open our field of membership and expand with purpose, we gave our brand an update with fresh new colors, imagery and content that conveys our dedication to our membership and our communities in a down-to-earth, friendly and neighborly fashion. Our new Brand Promise was born: Together, we can take care of today and grow for tomorrow.

Our commitment to become even more deeply involved in our communities resulted in establishing a volunteer program for our employees and the Four Pillars of Giving.  We also welcomed members of CWU Federal Credit Union through a merger and established a much-needed presence in Ellensburg.

2015

Early in the year, we launched our brand new website. It was a tough act to follow, but follow it we did by eliminating foreign transaction fees on our Visa cards and the monthly service fee on our Business Checking account. You asked, we listened! In mid-November, we began the conversion to our brand new Visa Platinum card with EMV chip technology.

We  expanded our statewide presence with new branches in Puyallup and Federal Way, giving us the opportunity to serve these two communities. And a much-needed relocation resulted in a bigger and better branch for our West Olympia members.

On the community front, we were proud to sponsor the first-ever Tedx event in Olympia and loved it so much that we sponsored TedxSpokane and TedxRainier. We also hosted our inaugural Member Volunteer Events – four of them to be exact: two in Olympia, one in Seattle and one in Spokane. 

2016

We started off the year with some great news: readers of Consumer Reports ranked us the 12th highest credit union in the nation for member service, communication, low fees and how we respond to problems. We're very happy to be recognized this way and excited to share the Consumer Reports Bank and Credit Union Buying Guide with you.