Denver, CO – March 13, 2023 – You may have seen the news last week about the failure of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank. We also recognize this situation may be causing concern about the larger financial services marketplace and creating questions about the money you have deposited here at Westerra Credit Union.
Just as bank deposits are insured by the FDIC, each individual depositor at Westerra Credit Union is also federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA, also a U.S. government agency) up to $250,000, and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government. According to the NCUA, no member of an NCUA credit union has ever lost a penny in insured accounts. For more information, visit mycreditunion.gov/share-insurance.
It is also important to note that Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank had very different business models than Westerra. SVB was focused on supporting tech startups and their venture capital backers, resulting in a non-typical (and riskier) loan portfolio, while Signature Bank was involved in the cryptocurrency marketplace.
Westerra, on the other hand, has a substantially lower-risk business model and loan portfolio where our members form the backbone of our operations. An institution in Denver since 1934, with over $2 billion in assets, Westerra exceeds the financial standards regulators require for a credit union to be considered well-capitalized and we have ample liquidity.
And one of the most key differences is that Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank were for-profit financial institutions. Westerra, on the other hand, is a not-for-profit cooperative, owned by you and the other members using our services. This means:
All decisions about the products and services offered are made in your best interests.
We do not issue stock or engage in risky practices to meet stockholders’ profit demands. Our cooperative, not-for-profit structure inherently holds us accountable to you and other members.
Our portfolio and services are diverse and not dependent on a sole industry.
We live and work in the communities we serve, taking local deposits and making local loans to build thriving communities.
We are focused on the soundness of a traditional, relationship-based business model.
Still, as with any shifts that occur in the banking industry, we are closely monitoring this situation. We are also aware that fraudsters can step up their efforts to take advantage of situations like this with scams or other false information. We encourage you to ensure your passwords are secure and to not provide personal information over the phone to unknown entities.
Additionally, we want to help you cut through the clutter of news and feel reassured. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to visit a branch or contact our Contact Center at 303-321-4209. Our experienced and dedicated member service teams are on-hand to answer your questions and, if you are interested, discuss how you can maximize your NCUA insurance limits. Our purpose at Westerra is to help you prosper. Today, and every day, we are here for you.
About Westerra Credit Union
Denver-based Westerra Credit Union holds approximately $2-billion in assets and serves 123,000 members throughout the Denver metro area. Founded in Denver 1934 by eight schoolteachers, Westerra’s Purpose is to “teach one another to prosper.” Member-owned and committed to the communities we serve, today we carry that purpose forward to help individuals, families, and businesses. In the past decade, Westerra has donated more than $500,000 annually to the community through sponsorships, donations and grants. For more information, visit www.westerracu.com.