|The board of directors of CoVantage Credit Union announced $1.65 million in patronage has been returned to the financial organization’s borrowing and saving members. This represents the largest patronage payment since 2008, when the economic crisis began. |
“The past few years have not been easy for members,” Brian Prunty, CoVantage CEO, said. “High unemployment has some members struggling to pay back their loans, while others wrestle with low earnings on deposits. Because things haven't been easy, giving back $1.65 million in patronage is absolutely the right thing to do."
Like prior years' patronage, there are two components to the $1.65 million reward. A savings bonus provides an additional dividend based on total earnings on selected accounts during the year. A loan interest rebate returns a portion of the interest paid on loans. The savings bonus has been paid for the past six years, while the loan interest rebate has been provided since 1981.
"I continue to be impressed by what CoVantage is able to do for its members,” Chuck Dallas, chairman of the CoVantage board, said. “On a daily basis, the credit union provides low-cost loans, offers fair rates on deposits, and strives to ensure that all have access to services that provide financial value. To go above and beyond by providing an additional $1.65 million in patronage is truly amazing."
The loan interest rebate returns a portion of interest paid on qualifying loans during 2013, and is provided automatically to members with real estate loans, commercial loans, auto loans, credit card loans, and nearly every type of in-house loan the credit union offers. The amounts rebated can be significant. For example, if a member paid $5,000 in interest on a home loan during the year, this year's loan interest rebate would provide them with $225.
The savings bonus provided a bonus of up to 4.5 percent of interest earned during 2013. It has been paid on personal and commercial savings accounts, variable rate accounts, and term share certificates.
"Although the patronage payment confirms CoVantage is a strong, growing credit union, 2013 did not go by without our credit union's share of challenges,” Prunty, CoVantage said. “We continue to deal with more and more regulatory burdens that often test our ability to provide loans and other services to members.”
Other issues include an ongoing financial assessments imposed by NCUA, the credit union’s federal regulator, resulting in CoVantage paying $9.1 million over the last five years for corporate credit unions that failed during the recession.
“These are problems CoVantage can weather,” Prunty stressed.
CoVantage Credit Union is a community chartered credit union that serves members throughout Brown, Clark, Florence, Forest, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Menominee, Oconto, Oneida, Outagamie, Portage, Price, Shawano, Taylor, Vilas, Waupaca and Wood Counties in Wisconsin; as well as in Iron and Dickinson counties in Michigan.
The financial cooperative is headquartered in Antigo and has branch offices in Shawano, Wausau, Weston, Rib Mountain, Rothschild, Rhinelander, Crandon; along with two Michigan offices in Iron River and Crystal Falls.
From left, Jodie Fermanich, Deb Clay, Dianne Noskowiak, Vicki Perrot, CEO Brian Prunty and board member Paul Payant of CoVantage Credit Union with some of the letters that will be going out to members announcing the rebates.