Click to view the following important documents:
- MWD FCU Board Chair Statement
- MWD FCU Vice Chair Statement
- Notice of Special Meeting of the Members on Proposal to Merge
- Combined Financial Statements of MWD FCU and Vons Credit Union
Below you'll find a list of questions and answers pertaining to the proposed merger.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About the Merger
Why is MWD FCU pursuing a merger with Vons Credit Union?
This partnership is a proactive step, by two financially-sound institutions, to positively position MWD Federal Credit Union members, going forward. Today, with our credit union at $48 million in assets, with capital-reserve requirements mandated by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the Board found itself forced to leave numerous concurrent priorities, unfunded. Regulatory compliance, cybersecurity, enabling technology development/deployment and competitive product offerings, all deserve funding. The Board determined that it was time for us to find a strong partner, to take us to the next level in service.
What was the process in this decision-making?
For the past eight months, the MWD Federal Credit Union Board of Directors has thoughtfully executed a process to determine a suitable merger partner for our credit union. The Board prepared an RFP, selected four finalists, interviewed each, and ultimately determined that Vons Credit Union (Vons CU) was a great fit for our membership. The NCUA has approved the merger, pending the positive outcome of the MWD FCU membership vote on September 26, 2018.
What were the decision criteria for choosing Vons Credit Union?
From the four finalists, the MWD FCU Board unanimously voted to recommend Vons Credit Union for the following reasons:
- Vons CU is based in Southern California and is well capitalized. In fact, they are in the top 1-percent nationwide for credit unions of their size: $525 million in assets.
- Vons CU provides exceptional customer service to its members, and is active in the community.
- Vons CU has an active member-outreach staff that will be available to regularly visit MWD field locations.
- Vons CU pays higher rates on share and IRA certificates than our credit union offers.
- Vons CU offers enhanced products and technology services.
- Vons CU will keep the branch at the MWD Headquarters building, in Los Angeles, along with all current employees who would like to stay.
- Vons CU currently has seven branches between Granada Hills and San Diego, with longer hours of operation, and they participate in the CO-OP Shared-Branching Network, as well.
- Vons CU has a Contact Center open 7am – 7pm, Monday through Friday.
- On many levels, we will be able to continue to retain our own identity as MWD Federal Credit Union, a division of Vons CU.
- Our MWD FCU Board Chair, Michael Cooper, will become a member of the Vons CU Board of Directors.
Who is Vons Credit Union?
In 1954, Vons employees, with Company support, founded Vons Employees Federal Credit Union as a means of providing financial products and services, at competitive rates, to Vons employees and their families. For more than 60 years, Vons Credit Union has steadily grown to $525 million in assets and serves over 50,000 members, in Southern and Central California, and beyond. They currently serve 16 grocery chains, six Los Angeles area cities and many SEGs (Select Employee Groups). They are a full-service financial institution, that prides themselves on delivering exceptional service; and because they have lower loan rates, higher dividend yields and fewer fees than the “Big Banks”, they are proud to claim they are “Just Like a Bank, Only Better.”
How will my interactions (payroll deposits, funds transfers, re-paying loans, monthly statements, etc.) change?
Initially, there will be no change and your credit union will run the same – same personnel, same MWD Headquarters Branch, in Los Angeles, same hours, same processes. As the combined companies enhance services over time, we will provide announcements and keep members well informed of any changes. One of the big benefits of the combined credit union is the robust and highly-featured Mobile Banking App, which will now be available to the membership.
Who is Certified Federal?
Certified Federal Credit Union (Certified Federal) is a division of Vons Credit Union. We were offered the opportunity to use "Certified Federal" as our parent company name instead of “Vons Credit Union.” Since Vons has a direct correlation to a local grocery store chain, and since we did not see the benefit of being directly tied to a grocery credit union, we chose Certified Federal. This brand name is used by Vons Credit Union, as they market to various non-Vons grocery chains in the Southern California area, and beyond. For obvious reasons, other grocery chains would not want to be directly tied to a competitor’s grocery company name, in providing credit union benefits to their teams. However, under the Certified Federal brand, their employees can enjoy all the products and services, as well as the safety and soundness of such a highly-regarded financial institution, as Vons Credit Union.
Is there a capital distribution of existing capital to the MWD FCU members?
Yes. The Board of Directors has determined that a special member bonus disbursement, that shall not exceed $410,650.00, will be distributed on a one-time (pro-rata) basis to members of MWD Federal Credit Union. This capital distribution is an adjustment that members will receive if the merger is approved. This one-time adjustment returns approximately one-percent (1%) of MWD FCU’s capital to its members, to recognize them for maintaining their deposits with MWD FCU, as follows: The distribution (in the form of a share balance/dividend distribution):
- Will occur on or about the effective date of the merger, and
- Shall be provided to eligible members of record of MWD FCU, as of December 31, 2017, and
- Pro-rata based upon share balances at that date, and
- Who remain members in good standing, and
- Who also maintain a share account with MWD FCU, as of the merger date.
Will my Payroll Direct Deposit be impacted?
Yes, you will soon receive your available payroll funds into your account one day earlier than you currently receive them.
Will the MWD Headquarters Credit Union Branch, in Los Angeles, remain open?
Yes, it will remain open with the same hours of operation.
Will we have more Branch locations?
Yes, with the partnership, by year-end 2019, members will have 9 additional branches located across Southern California, as well as continued access to the CO-OP Network, with over 5,000 credit union Shared Branch locations worldwide, and over 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs.
Will there be any impact on CD rates?
Yes, the day after the merger is official, CD rates will go up significantly, consistent with the current established rates at Vons Credit Union; and all members will automatically receive this benefit.
What will happen to my existing CD / IRA / Share / Share Drafts and Money Market accounts?
All MWD FCU existing CDs and IRAs will be converted to the new higher rates for the remainder of their term. All Share, Share Drafts and Money Market accounts will also be converted to the higher Vons CU rates.
Will my funds still be federally insured?
Yes. Your funds will still be federally insured to the maximum amount allowed by law, through a U.S. Government Agency: the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) – this insurance currently covers to at least $250,000 per qualified account holder and beneficiaries (plus another $250,000 for IRAs).
When can I start using the new credit union services, including the Mobile Banking App?
In the days following the merger, we will have a Membership Update Center set up, where current members (and new applicants) can follow a simple process to enroll, transfer funds and quickly receive all of the products and services of Vons Credit Union / Certified Federal. In addition, you can stop by our branch here at Union Station on the second level to update your Membership.
If I do nothing, when will my account(s) be converted over to the new system?
On or about February 1, 2019, MWD FCU members who have not already updated their Membership, will be converted, and all of their existing funds and loans will be transferred to the Vons CU system.
What do I do if I have more questions?