Sacramento, Calif. November 3, 2010 — Northern California’s SAFE Credit Union is blazing new territory in business banking, and in a far more comprehensive way than simply offering financial services.
SAFE’s new division — Community Banking — takes the credit union’s wide variety of existing products, services, and innovations and packages them into custom solutions for local industries. The division uses a consultative approach to determine which of SAFE’s resources would best serve the company, organization, or nonprofit. And, with a heritage of 70 years of serving the greater Sacramento area, SAFE has more than just great financial products. The credit union has valuable insight on the local economy, a pool of experienced civic-minded professionals, and a strong connection with its members and the greater community. That means a business gets affordable banking services, but also financial literacy courses for its employees and SAFE’s marketing know-how in reaching out to new and existing customers. And in the case of nonprofits, even volunteer-minded SAFE employees join in to help out at fundraising events.
Launched at the end of last year, Community Banking attracted the University of California Davis Children’s Hospital as one of its first members. In addition to a standard suite of financial services, the hospital’s nonprofit foundation gained instant access to SAFE’s 150,000 membership base. SAFE members are able to support the Children’s Hospital through SAFE’s Partner for Change program, which directs 1% of the amount of participants’ SAFE Visa® Credit Card transactions to their designated cause. Within a few weeks, the foundation received a $4,500 check from SAFE through its members’ use of what are called “affinity cards.” Meanwhile, SAFE employees who enjoy volunteering in the community were invited to mobilize and help staff a fundraising event for the children’s hospital.
“Community Banking delivers on SAFE’s goal to build a better community through its membership and by partnering with leading local organizations. The program engages existing and potential members who want to help their community, and it allows SAFE to share its considerable resources and expertise with other organizations to help them achieve their financial goals,” said Henry Wirz, SAFE’s President and CEO.
As the #1 local small business lender, SAFE has already caught the attention of nonprofit organizations and private businesses. And, the potential for growth through the Community Banking division is tremendous, especially with people, nonprofits, and businesses alike seeking extra value beyond paid services in a still-rough economy.
“In one respect, Community Banking reflects the roots of the credit union movement. It takes a cooperative approach to sharing everyone’s assets for a common good. But in this case, those assets aren’t strictly monetary, but also include skills, talents, and relationships,” said VP of Community Banking Jim Allen.
Established in 1940, SAFE Credit Union maintains assets in excess of $1.6 billion and serves more than 150,000 members through 21 branches in the greater Sacramento region.