Seattle Credit Union opens branch in Lynnwood Crossroads
LYNNWOOD, Washington, September 28, 2022 – Seattle Credit Union celebrated its ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Sept. 23, commemorating the opening of its Lynnwood branch for the nonprofit financial cooperative.
In addition to moving 1.5 miles down 196e Street Southwest, Lynnwood’s location underwent some changes, including the removal of its traditional box office line. Instead, the branch takes a more personal approach with comfortable seating to facilitate conversations between members and staff, returning to its ethos of building relationships first.
“We try to focus on helping people, going beyond the transaction,” Richard Romero, president and CEO of Seattle Credit Union told the Lynnwood Times. “Let’s say you need a mortgage. Let’s say you have bad credit and you need to sit down and talk to someone. That’s what we want our staff to really focus on, because that’s what takes time and a lot of investment.
Many traditional over-the-counter teller functions are still available to members through state-of-the-art ATMs, mobile banking, and Interactive Automated Teller Machines (ITMs) that cash checks, make loan repayments, deposits and withdrawals. cash, money transfers, etc. The ITM also allows members to speak with a local cashier live via video call to continue that personal face-to-face experience.
Romero told the Lynnwood Times that the goal is to free up OTC cashiers to sit down with members and really get to know them, and their needs, personally. If a member with bad credit needs a car or home loan, for example, they may be turned down by multiple banks based solely on their score alone; but at Seattle Credit Union, tellers will sit down with loan seekers to take the time to understand Why their credit is bad.
“Maybe they had a car accident or they have medical bills. We’ll take a look at their credit. We’ll try to figure it out. OK, look, it was an anomaly. Let’s give them a chance and let’s call them in. It takes time to sit down and get to know the person versus, you know, run your credit, sorry, you’re denied and out the door,” Romero said.
A typical experience for someone walking through the doors of Seattle Credit Union’s Lynnwood branch is to first be greeted by a smiling employee who will try to understand what the member’s needs are and what brought them there. Then the employee will try to find a time when they can sit down with a cashier to discuss those needs, Dale Morris, AVP Retail Operations for Seattle Credit Union, told the Lynnwood Times.
“Something like a withdrawal or a deposit is quite a quick and easy transaction. What we are looking for is to provide more help to our members for their deepest needs,” Morris said.
The Lynnwood location is one of ten Seattle Credit Union branches in the state and the only branch in Snohomish County. However, members can bank at more than 5,000 credit union branches as part of the Shared-Branching Network, or use any of 30,000 ATMs at no additional charge through the Co-Op or Accel networks.
While the Seattle Credit Union has been helping its members meet their personal financial needs for 89 years, it also strives to be a community partner with local small businesses and a voice for the disadvantaged.
“My heart is with small business. I’ve been an independent accountant for over 40 years and you see the challenges of small business. Seeing an organization like this that caters to small businesses and knowing the challenges, it’s great that they’re in my neighborhood,” Mayor Christine Frizzell told the Lynnwood Times.
The Seattle Credit Union has more than 52 community partners throughout Washington State. With a commitment to supporting its community through volunteerism, offering free educational workshops, partnering with local nonprofits, and creating products designed to help those who have traditionally been underserved by their system financial.
Notably, the credit union has partnered with the City of Seattle to help fund immigrant pathways to U.S. citizenship, as Juntos Avanzamos Credit Union provides trusted financial services to the local Latino community. . The credit union has also donated more than $233,838 to local nonprofits through its Feel Good Checking program.
The Seattle Credit Union began in 1933 when seven Seattle city employees pooled their resources to afford themselves and their co-workers the opportunity to take out loans they could not get from banks.
“Our members are our raison d’être. Our number one job is to make sure they are able to borrow money, grow their savings and enjoy special benefits along their journey to prosperity, however they choose to define it,” their mission statement reads.
“We are proud to have been founded in Seattle and to have grown with the city that created us. We’ve been here nearly a century and look forward to providing the people of this amazing area with the financial knowledge and tools they need to continue to unite Puget Sound communities in the world-class destination that has become Seattle.
Lynnwood Seattle Credit Union is located at 19718 Highway 99, Suite 101, and is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and closed Sunday.