Maine CU Returns Nearly $450,000 To Members In Interest Rebates, Bonus Dividends

January 23, 2015

For people in Jay and surrounding communities in Western Maine, ten is a lucky number in more ways than one. For the tenth consecutive year, OTIS Federal Credit Union returned more than $435,000 in interest refunds and bonus dividends to its more than 10,000 members through its Cooperative Community Advantage. On New Year's Day, the credit union gave back 10% of the interest paid on loans in 2014, and paid a 10% bonus on dividends earned in 2014. In addition, to mark the tenth year milestone of this program, the credit union awarded $10,000 to 5 local charities.

"We are owned and operated by and for our members; they are why we exist and, in the true spirit of cooperatives, they are the ones who should share in the success of their organization. Credit unions are cooperatives, owned and operated by and for their members. Unlike other financial institutions that focus on profits for stockholders and a small group of individuals, our sole focus is on serving our member owners – all of them. We are not concerned about Wall Street; we care about Main Street. While the economy remains challenging for many in the communities we serve, our ability to thrive and succeed says a lot about our loyal members and their commitment to keeping their credit union strong and solid. In celebration of our tenth year, we also wanted to reach out and reinforce our commitment to helping those less fortunate in our communities so we presented an additional $10,000 to be shared among five non-profits in our area. Cooperatives are strong in Maine, as evidenced by the growing popularity of credit unions, as well as other types of cooperatives, such as farming and food co-ops. We can highlight the benefits of our cooperative structure through such programs as our Cooperative Community Advantage," explained Roland Poirier, President/CEO of OTIS Federal Credit Union.

John Murphy, President of the Maine Credit Union League, the state trade association, applauded the ability and commitment of Otis FCU to return such a "significant amount of money to members.  Whether it's lower and fewer fees or returning funds to members through these types of programs, Maine credit unions have a long history of demonstrating the cooperative principals of credit unions.  This is another example that highlights the cooperative difference between credit unions and other financial institutions."

Since initiating its Return to Member Campaign Cooperative Community Advantage, the credit union's members have received more than $3.6 million in interest refunds and bonus dividends.

According to the Maine Credit Union League, Maine consumers saved $45 million in 2014 by using a credit union, as a result of lower and fewer fees, better rates on loans, and higher rates on dividends.