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Our History

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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.

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 kitchen table

The 1960s

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

Assets had grown to $5.5 million.

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

tuning a old 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.

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

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

We opened branches in Spokane and Pullman.

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

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.

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

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.

We celebrated hitting $100 million in assets.

Our Pullman Grand branch opened its doors.

We began offering Visa® cards.

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

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.

floppy disks

The 1990s

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

Our Contact Center was established.

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

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

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.

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

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

Our Spokane Valley branch opened.

y2k written on wall

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.

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.

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

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 (now Courtesy Pay) service.

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.

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.

Our West Olympia branch opened.

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.

Ground was broken for the new headquarters building.

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.

 Woman looking at cell phone

The 2010s

We moved into the second decade of the century with over 165,000 members and nearly 1.5 billion in assets. Technology enhancements, a field of membership expansion, more branches and a new brand led the charge. 

Our Visa Rewards program was expanded to include our debit cards.

Our Mobile Banking app made its debut.

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

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 in a brand new building.

After careful consideration, 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.

Following the decision to open our field of membership and expand with purpose, we updated our brand with new colors, imagery and content to convey our dedication to our membership and communities in a down-to-earth, friendly and neighborly fashion.

Our commitment to become more deeply involved in our communities resulted in a volunteer program for our employees and the Pillars of Giving.

We also welcomed members of CWU Federal Credit Union through a merger and established a much-needed presence in Ellensburg.

We launched our new website and eliminated foreign transaction fees on our Visa cards and monthly service fees on our Business Checking account. In mid-November, we began the conversion to our brand new Visa Platinum card with chip technology.

We expanded our statewide presence with new branches in Puyallup and Federal Way. Additionally, 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 went on to sponsor TEDxSpokane and TEDxRainier (now known as TEDxSeattle). For the first time we also hosted Member Volunteer Events: two in Olympia, one in Seattle and one in Spokane.

Our Seattle Fairview branch underwent renovations to better serve members. 

Our new digital lending app was introduced.

We tried something new for #GivingTuesday by randomly handing out $100 bills to members visiting our branches, asking them to do some good with the money and posting about it on social media.

We marked our 60th anniversary of serving members with a celebration in our branches. 

A partnership with Hands On Children’s Museum in Olympia created ongoing benefits for members and community alike through the Inspired Learning for All initiative.

We invested $1million in our local communities.

We stepped up our game with three brand new checking accounts and three brand new credit cards. Check them out if you haven’t already – they’re worth a look.

Our U-District branch moved into its newly constructed building that also features a Community Room and coffee shop. It's located across the street from the old branch.

Our website was revamped to provide easy-to-access product and service information, better navigation and a fresh new look.


After 20 years, CEO Kevin Foster-Keddie retired. Senior Vice President Gary Swindler, a career-long WSECU employee, took the helm.

We launched a new Online Banking platform.

We opened a second Contact Center in Yakima.

Our Spokane Valley branch moved to a new, more convenient location.

We launched the Financial Lockbox Challenge, an escape-room style puzzle game designed to teach high school students about credit and managing finances.



 Woman looking at laptop

The 2020s


Our assets reached over $4 billion.

Our membership stood at 282,471.

We launched a new Mobile Banking app.

To deal with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, much of our staff transitioned to working from home, and we pioneered new ways to serve and support members, including:

  • Loan modifications and forbearances
  • Becoming a certified SBA lender to provide Payment Protection Loans for small businesses
  • Fee waivers on many products and services, including late fees on loans

We launched a series of webinars designed to support the financial well-being of our members. Topics included:

  • Medicare and Long-term Care (hosted by WSECU Insurance Services)
  • Social Security, Behavioral Finance and Economic Updates (hosted by WSECU Investment Services)
  • Financial Housekeeping, Credit Reporting 101, Emergency Financial First Aid Kit and Financial Housekeeping (hosted by WSECU Community Relations)

We committed to do more to advance racial equity and financial inclusion through our actions and the investment of resources inside and outside the credit union.

We increased total scholarship awards from $65,000 to $100,000.

Mortgage rates hit all-time lows, enabling us to fund over $174 million in first mortgages.



Our Spokane Division branch opened, providing greater access to WSECU services in Eastern Washington.

Your perspective is important to us and helps us see where we’re hitting the mark and where there might be areas to improve.