Virginia Credit Union was originally chartered as State Employees’ Credit Union, Inc. in 1928. It was organized by a group of state employees to "accumulate and invest the savings of members and to make loans to members for provident purposes."
Volunteers operated the credit union from the Comptroller's Office in the Finance Building in Richmond's Capitol Square. Sidney Day served as the credit union's treasurer from 1928 and continued until 1972.
By the end of its first full year, the credit union had about 170 members and had granted 50 loans.
The first share (savings) dividends payable as of January 1, 1930, totaled $221.38. For many years, Treasurer Sidney Day handed out annual dividend checks after each annual meeting.
During the Depression when some other financial institutions closed, the credit union's spirit of self-help and cooperation offered hope to members. The credit union continued to pay yearly dividends on shares and provided loans to members in amounts from $50 to $1,200.
Membership decreased for a period as many state employees left to serve their country during World War II. The credit union continued to make loans but within limits placed on all lending institutions nationwide to help control inflation.
Loan demand grew after the war. Affordable loans were the main reason many state employees joined the credit union. Assets at the end of 1947 totaled $35,875.
Dot Hall (left)
At an annual meeting, the credit committee chairman reported on some of the reasons members had borrowed: "purchase of automobiles, paying bills, and home improvements, and...last but not least, the purchase of one mule ($75)."
Credit life and credit disability insurance was introduced to provide loan protection for members. Dorothy J. (Dot) Hall was hired as bookkeeper in 1957. She went on to become general manager in 1972, and president in 1993.
Dot Hall was a driving force in the success of the credit union.
The credit union moved from the Comptroller's office to its own space with teller windows in the basement of the Finance Building.
Payroll deduction was introduced to make it easier for members to save and make loan payments.
More than 5,000 members were being served and assets totaled $2.4 million by the end of 1965.
The credit union moved out of state facilities to the Bank of Virginia building on 9th Street.
For the first time, a computer service was used for record keeping and quarterly statements were mailed to members.
Share draft (checking) accounts and revolving credit plans were introduced to offer more services to members. Membership expanded to include immediate family members.
Membership also became a lifetime benefit as the policy "once a member, always a member" was adopted.
808 East Broad Street
To serve its growing membership, the credit union bought its first building at 808 East Broad Street and began using its first in-house computer system.
Services expanded to include savings certificates, Individual Retirement Accounts, credit cards, lines of credit, mortgage loans, and home equity loans and home equity lines of credit.
Four branches opened to increase convenience to members—DMV and Tower branches in the city, the Hanover branch in Mechanicsville, and the Merchants Walk branch in Henrico. The two suburban branches offered extended weekday and Saturday hours.
For 24-hour access, QuikLine Phone Banking and ATM networks were added. The credit union also installed its first ATM.
Membership expanded to include employees of Virginia's political subdivisions.Mergers with the Fredericksburg Area Credit Union, Hanover County Employees' Credit Union and the University Credit Union brought more members into the Virginia Credit Union family.
Members voted at 1987's Annual Meeting to change their credit union's name to Virginia Credit Union.
During the 1980s, membership doubled and assets grew by 800%. At the end of 1989, 73,000 members were being served and assets totaled $171 million.
VACU Contact Center
A new building in the Boulders in Chesterfield County provided space for the growing credit union and a full-service Member Services contact center.
Two branches moved to new, larger facilities (Glenside and Downtown). Three more new branches opened (Genito, Short Pump and Virginia Center Commons).
The web site came online in 1996 with 24-hour loan applications. Online banking and bill payer were introduced the next year.
Debit cards, premium savings, a college scholarship program and a personal financial management service were made available to members. The field of membership continued to expand, enabling students at state colleges/universities and employees of approved companies to join. Thalhimers Credit Union members also became part of VACU.
Dot Hall retired after 42 years of service to credit union members. Jane Watkins, VACU's senior vice president and chief financial officer, became president and CEO on January 1, 2000.
At the end of 1999, 125,000 members were being served and assets totaled $629 million.
VACU Farmville Branch
Assets surpassed $1 billion in 2002.
Five new branches opened in Chester, Colonial Heights, Farmville and the Fredericksburg area. Four branches relocated to new, larger facilities.
Free ATM access was expanded, including more VACU ATMs and ATMs at Wawa® convenience stores. Full service VACU ATMs were added in Lynchburg and Staunton.
Online banking and bill pay services were significantly enhanced.
Access to loans became more convenient with the addition of VACU car loans through dealers and 24-hour loan applications by phone.
A new operations center provided for continued growth and a second site for business continuity purposes.
Expanded investment, insurance and tax services were made available to members.
Petersburg City Employees Federal Credit Union and ALCOA Richmond Federal Credit Union members became part of Virginia Credit Union.
The field of membership expanded to serve the following eligible communities—the Cities of Fredericksburg, Hopewell, Petersburg and Richmond, Counties of Buckingham, Cumberland, Nottoway and Prince Edward, and the Town of Farmville.
Assets surpassed $2 billion in 2010 and the number of members being served exceeded 200,000.
Mobile banking, mobile deposit, online membership and account opening were introduced to increase convenience.
New branches opened in Richmond's East End and on West Broad Street.
Free ATM access was expanded through ATMs at all Sheetz® stores in Virginia
Mortgage loan services were expanded to serve members' needs.
Realty services were made available to help members buy and sell homes.
Business loans and deposit services were introduced in response to members' requests.
More than 13,000 young people and adults participated in VACU's financial education programs in 2013.
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