Sioux Falls Federal Credit Union (SFFCU) is kicking off 2018 with a big announcement. For its member/owners, bank leaders are giving back $1,000,000 as a way to say 'thank you' for a successful 2017 in the form of patronage dividends. In other words, the bank will be giving its nearly 27,000 customers a percentage of their profit.
The announcement came at an intimate gathering of about 10 of its member-owners in mid-December. The credit union announced the news to the public on New Year's Day.
"We're going to pay back all of our members a percentage of our profits 'Sioux Falls Fed' made this year," CEO Fran Sommerfeld said. "All of our profit belongs to our members. We've paid dividends, our members earned rewards but this year 'well give back some of that extra money back to them in the form as a patronage dividend. We'll divide that based on how their relationship is with their credit union, based on the amount of loan interest they paid, as well as the amount of loan dividends on their accounts. A million bucks is a pretty big deal."
This news is huge for people like Emily Vincelli.
"It's amazing, it's generous and I applaud them for doing that," Emily Vincelli said.
As a business owner, she and her husband have been with Sioux Falls Federal Credit Union since 2006.
"We had gone to some other banks that turned us down. When we went to the SFFCU they approved our loan and helped us out. We were really happy about that," Vincelli said.
She said it wasn't just the loan that kept them there but the people.
"There's a feeling of loyalty, since they helped us out in a time of need. We feel grateful since they helped us out and we've been banking with them since then," Vincelli said.
Sioux Falls Federal Credit Union's CEO Fran Sommerfeld said that's what it's all about: loyalty and giving back.
"Our members cherish their credit union and owning that and having a say in what they do. This will be huge for the members of 'Sioux Falls Fed'," Sommerfeld said.
SFFCU's volunteer Board of Directors came up with the idea in 2016 .