The Cooperative Difference: Members, Community Share As Maine CU Gives Back More Than $300,000

January 29, 2016

At the conclusion of a year that saw 300 workers laid off from the local Androscoggin Mill, the more than 10,000 members of Otis FCU, which is the primary financial institution for many of the consumers in the communities in and around the mill, received some very positive years news. For the eleventh consecutive year, Otis FCU has once again returned hundreds of thousands of dollars to its members through its Cooperative Community Advantage Program. The credit union recently announced that it returned more than $300,000, nearly a quarter of its net profit for the past year, back to its members.

"Credit unions are about making a difference on Main St., when many banks and others are focused on Wall St. Once again, it's great to see a Maine credit union highlighting the benefits of cooperatives," stated John Murphy, President of the Maine Credit Union League. In early January, the credit union distributed its bonus and interest refund to its members including giving back 7% of the interest paid on consumer loans, real-estate loans and VISA credit cards. In addition, the credit union gave a bonus of 7% on all dividends earned in 2015.

"Being a cooperative, we are about serving our members. Since we are owned by and exist for our members, our focus is on how we can best serve them. Because of the members' faith and trust in us as their financial institution, we are pleased to be able to reward them for that over and above the everyday benefits of using a credit union brings. Our success comes from our members so our Board and staff feel very strongly that they should share in that success. On the heels of the news this past fall that 300 employees would be losing their jobs at the mill, we are grateful that many of them will benefit from these funds at a time when many are having financial challenges. This program exemplifies one of the significant differences between credit unions and other financial institutions, and we are proud of that difference," explained Roland Poirier, President/CEO of Otis Federal Credit Union.

Since initiating its Cooperative Community Advantage program, the credit union's members have received nearly than $4 million in interest refunds and bonus dividends.