Rates on the Rise!
The long awaited raising of rates by the Federal Reserve began in December 2015 after the threat of increases for years since 2008. Even with that first increase, the one that followed was a year later. As the economy has arguably done better and certainly the unemployment figures are reported at their lowest, we’ve seen the FED increase the Fed Funds Rate six more times bringing it to the 2.0%-2.250% range and the Prime Rate to 5.25%.
What does this mean for Greater Metro?
Since much of the Credit Union’s funds are invested in Government Agencies and Insured Certificates, the increases have a positive effect on our income as maturing instruments are reinvested at higher rates. We also benefit from the variable rate loans that members hold. On the flip side, our expenses will go up as we raise savings rates.
What does this mean for our members?
For our members who have savings, they will do better as the increases will translate to higher rates on certificates, money market accounts and interest bearing savings and checking. Unfortunately, there is always a lag on how the rate increases pass down to the “Saving” consumers. Members may see “special” offers by institutions as they jockey for position among their community rivals. For our borrowing members it obviously is not a good thing. We hope that Greater Metro will still be able to hold the reins on increasing rates relative to what’s out in the market. In this edition you’ll find an auto loan advertisement which reflects increases to our rates, but the rates were decided upon after reviewing rates of a large number of financial institutions in the metropolitan area and we are confident that ours are lower in almost all cases.
Rates have increased. Rates will increase. But not to the point of unreasonableness. Thirty year fixed mortgage rates are averaging around 4.8%. With another .25% increase looming, there is also pressure for the FED to delay additional increases. We’ll see. You can be sure that Credit Unions will do their best for its members!
Our Annual Meeting
Greater Metro’s annual meeting took take place on Wednesday, May 23rd in our Long Island City office. The agenda included the report of officers, our financial results from 2017, and the election of officers to our Board of Directors. Robert Morrison and Monica Duffy were elected to fill the two seats that were up for election. They will serve three year terms. Employee awards were presented to Diane Bradford for her 30 years of service and to Carl Robinson for his 10 years.
The Credit Union strives to provide its members with products and services that are as competitive as those in the market and at even better rates while maintaining profitability at a level deemed Safe and Sound by our regulator, the NCUA (National Credit Union Administration). An acceptable level of Net Worth is 7%. At 12/31/17, our Net Worth was 12.43%. To the right is an abbreviated presentation of our financials.
For the years 2016 and 2015, the Credit Union posted bottom line losses due to reserving for possible loan losses on the Taxi Medallion Loans that Greater Metro and many other financial institutions participated in for years. This once profitable and safe investment vehicle has driven Medallion owners scrambling to restructure their loans on collateral where values have plummeted. Montauk, Melrose and LOMTO Credit Unions, whose primary business was originating these loans, have been closed and assets taken over. Bay Ridge FCU was forced to merge with another. Our strong Net Worth position has been able to absorb our related losses. Although there was a devaluation lull in 2017, there may be more losses to absorb going forward.
Open a Card with us and transfer balances up to $25,000 (restrictions apply) at 0% for a Year (with a 3% Transfer Fee)
For new Greater Metro Mastercard members
Open a card with us and transfer balances up to $25,000 at 0% for one year! There is a 3% Transfer fee. Restrictions apply; ask a representative at the credit union for details.
More members of Greater Metro took advantage of our auto loan rates in 2018 than in any year previously. With market rates on a steady increase, we kept ours low as our giveback to members. This being said, our auto loan rates increased on November 1 but are still below the market.
The rates above reflect our 5 year terms to the highest credit scores. Different rates will be available based on credit scores and length of loan.
Online Banking See/Jump
We’ve enabled a feature on our Online Banking platform where members with joint accounts only have to log in once and then can jump to the other accounts to see and/or transact. This needs to be activated by Credit Union staff and authorized by the primary owner of the account.
Online Banking Schedule Future Transfers
Another feature that has been enabled is giving members the ability to schedule future transfers. Members can set these transfers on their own.
Have You Seen Them?
We’ve been trying to locate a number of members who have let their accounts become dormant. If anyone is in contact with the following members, please have them call Bart Rydzewski at 718-361-1002 ext. 236.
|Beatrice Brown||William Paige|
|Michael Holdip||John Stout|
|Elisha Moore||Peter Gasparik|
|Brenda Rodriguez||Maria-Deysi Mero|
|David Worsdale||Linda Peterson|
|Joseph R. Delorenzo||Edlyne Verna|
It is important to make sure your contact information with the Credit Union is up to date (addresses, phone numbers-home, cell and work, email addresses).
Has it Been a Year?
Actually it has been- since the last Newsletter. In an effort to keep expenses low we looked at the cost/benefit of printing and mailing our quarterly Newsletters and put them on hold. While we continue to review more cost effective methods of communication to bring you relevant information, we are restarting the Quarterly mailing but reviewing other options to stay connected going forward.
Pauline Gerdes, a longtime employee of the Credit Union who retired several years ago, passed away on September 13, 2018.
Credit Union Offices will be closed on the following days in 2018:
Veterans Day ………………………. Monday, November 12
Thanksgiving Day …………………Thursday, November 22
Christmas Eve ………………………Monday, December 24, Early close 2PM
Christmas Day …………………….. Tuesday, December 25
Credit Union Offices will be closed on the following days in 2019:
New Year’s Day …………………….Tuesday, January 1
Martin Luther King Jr Day …….. Monday, January 21
President’s Day ……………………..Monday, February 18
Memorial Day ……………………… Monday, May 27
Independence Day ………………..Thursday, July 4
Labor Day ………………………. Monday, September 2
Columbus Day ……………….. Monday, October 14
Veterans Day ………………….. Monday, November 11
Thanksgiving Day …………… Thursday, November 28
Christmas Day ………………..Wednesday, December 25