HCU Wichita -A Look Back; A celebration
The cost of a postage stamp was 24 cents, gas was 89 cents a gallon, and Hutchinson Credit Union bought our very first fax machine. The year? 1987.
The Farm Credit Bank Employees Federal Credit Union, located at 245 N. Waco in Wichita with roughly 900 members and 2.5 million in assets, merged into HCU in late 1987. FCBEFCU was one of the oldest credit unions chartered in the US.
Margaret Banker, the long time president of HCU, and Linda Epley, president FCBEFCU, were acquaintances through the Kansas Credit Union League. It was through that organization that these two determined a merger would be a good fit for both organizations. Hutchinson Credit Union had approximately 9,000 members and 25 million in assets at the time. The merger went well, and times were simple enough that the data conversion was keyed in by hand and done in a matter of days.
John McCannon,who is still with HCU and serves on our board of directors, was an original volunteer with FCBEFCU. The first Wichita branch manager for HCU was former FCBEFCU President Linda Epley.
The merger was beneficial for both entities. It gave FCBEFCU more services, such as checking and credit cards, and a renewed lending energy. HCU gained access to a great group of members and experience with a branch location outside of Hutchinson. A side benefit to our Wichita branch has been for HCU members who relocate to Wichita to still have a local HCU branch available.
A bit of trivia: The most colorful repossessions HCU has ever had actually came from a loan made in the FCBEFCU days; a Bentley automobile and a hot air balloon!
Over the years, Farm Credit has been very supportive of having a credit union presence, as both entities share cooperative principles. They've even employed many of our former staff, keeping everyone in the family so to speak.
Fast forward to 2012. The HCU Wichita branch is celebrating 25 years, in the same location, of serving our Farm Credit (now CoBank and American AgCredit) and Wichita area members. The FCBEFCU merger continues to influence HCU to this day, with a quality group of volunteers to help guide us and a branch that continues to play an important part in the HCU story.
As a member owned cooperative, our success is truly your success. Here's to many great years to come!