Thank you for being here.
I’m humbled by my opportunity to serve our 53,000-plus members, and to be here this evening to file this report.
I will dispense with the formal reading of my report found in the Annual Report you have in hand. Suffice it to say, as indicated by the information contained therein, St. Louis Community Credit Union had an outstanding 2016.
We thank our Board, Supervisory Committee, our growing list of partners, our many advocates, our fantastic staff (now 165 strong), and most importantly, our members for their loyalty, dedication and continued trust in St. Louis Community Credit Union as their financial institution of choice. We couldn’t do what we do without our members’ devotion to using our products, services and their support of our mission. We are honored to serve them, their families, their neighbors and the community as a whole.
In line with our mission and vision for SLCCU, every day we set out to create the best possible experience for our members to conduct their financial affairs. Whether electronically, at an ATM, or inside of one of our 14 branches (very soon to be 15), we want to ensure they experience the respect, dignity and love they are deserving of as a member of SLCCU.
Competition among financial institutions can be fierce. Everybody touts to be offering the next best thing. We’re not above copying the really good ideas, but by and large, what we have discovered is that for our members, we are better off to invent the next great thing. We have done so many times in the form of new products, improved delivery channels and expanded risk tolerance so as to include more people in mainstream banking services.
But our real differentiator is our mission, our purpose and our values. Nobody in St. Louis commits to helping those in financial need more than we do. For us, it’s about serving people who otherwise might be shut out from mainstream financial services. We take our role and charge as a Community Development Financial Institution very seriously. It’s not just a designation to us, nor is it just a strategy. For us, it’s in our DNA. It’s who we are. And we take our responsibility to the community very seriously.
Look at where we’re located, look at our pricing, look at our product suite, look at our willingness to extend loan capital to our community, and look at the makeup of our staff. You’ll find a sincere mission to serve, a purpose to help, and a set of values that speak to making people’s lives truly better.
What we offer is great for those with much, and even better for those looking to make ends meet.
It is our intent throughout these next three years to do even more than we have accomplished in our past. Look for exciting things upcoming.
SLCCU has been serving in St. Louis for 75 years. We have relationships with people and neighborhoods alike. Whatever we set out to do, we attempt to engage, empower and respond to whatever are the needs of the people we serve. I’m going to call it the “network effect.” By increasing the numbers of our partners, political contacts, community advocates, faith-based leaders and socially responsible donors, we create a reinforcing virtuous cycle. The more supporting constituencies that we have, the more valuable we become to each and every member that we serve.
We know that housing, healthcare, daycare, education, transportation and financial services are major concerns in the LMI populations we serve. They are daily “kitchen table” conversations that demand decisions that carry meaningful consequences. By spending resources and partnering with experts that understand the best tactics to tackle the problems, we make the investment that improves our community, the residents and subsequently SLCCU and our many thousands of members.
It is truly an honor to serve our members. Thank you very much.