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2014 BEST Credit Union: Redwood Credit Union

Author: Karen Hart
May, 2014 Issue

“We’ve been on a journey for the last two-and-a-half years to implement new technology and continue to listen to our members.” —Anne Benjamin

Redwood Credit Union (RCU) is known throughout the North Bay and San Francisco for focusing on peoplenot profitsand service is a key to its success. Perhaps that’s why it’s won BEST Credit Union for the ninth year in a row.
Founded in 1950, RCU is a local community credit union, which offers its members full-service personal and business banking products such as free checking, savings and deposit accounts; auto and home loans; credit cards; free online and mobile banking; business services, commercial and Small Business Administration (SBA) lending, and more.
What’s the difference between a bank and a credit union? Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives, so earnings are returned to members through better rates, low or no fees and expanded services.
As for its success, the numbers tell part of the story. RCU has more than 232,000 members, 18 branch locations and a network of 30,000 fee-free ATMs. What’s more, the SBA has ranked RCU as a top Small Business Association Lender in the North Bay since 2008. It has $2.3 billion in assets and it’s the 63rd largest of about 6,300 credit unions in the United States.
RCU is an organization committed to taking technology to the next level to better serve its members. “We try to make our products convenient for members to access from home or anywhere,” says Anne Benjamin, executive vice president/COO. “We’re all about service and convenience.” Last year, RCU added mobile banking to its menu of services, which means members can view their accounts, deposit checks and pay bills via their smartphones and tablets. RCU’s services are designed to offer convenience and flexibility. RCU has also enhanced features for its members to apply for loans online and get an immediate decision.
Another new and noteworthy service is that people wanting to join RCU can open a new account online using a credit card to make an initial deposit.
What are its plans for the future? “We’ll continue to serve our members and communities with affordable and convenient financial services, listen to our members and make additional improvements to technology and other channels to bring our service to the next level,” says Benjamin. “We’re also further enhancing our financial literacy and education efforts for youth and everyone in our communities, so people have the information and tools they need to make sound financial decisions and achieve their goals,” she says. “We’ve been on a journey for the last two-and-a-half years to implement new technology and we continue to listen to our members to learn how we can better serve their needs.”
RCU members are regularly surveyed for feedback on its service, input is immediately reviewed and responded to by management and staff, and service adjustments are made. If members share a complaint, they get a call back from management to ensure their concerns are heard.
“Our not-for-profit model is built on people, not profit. So our focus is on serving people, and we encourage members to share their experience with us. Listening and responding directly to our members’ needs is what we’re here to do, and is core to our service standards,” says Benjamin.
What’s it like to win BEST Credit Union for the ninth consecutive year? “We’re every bit as proud as we were the first time,” she says. “And we’re truly honored to serve the people and businesses in our communities.”



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