Please be aware of fraudsters contacting members unexpectedly via a phone call, text or email pretending to be APGFCU fraud detection employees.
If you receive a suspicious unsolicited call, email or text appearing to be from APGFCU and requesting information:
Credit unions are not-for-profit, financial service cooperatives, owned and controlled by their members, and operating in a democratic way. As co-ops, credit unions operate solely for their members’ benefit, rather than to make a profit.
Credit unions were founded on the principle of people helping people. When you join a credit union, you become part of a community. A community that exists to help its members grow and prosper financially. You become something bigger than just an account number. You become a member-owner with the power to shape the future of the credit union through your voice and your vote. You become part of a movement that exists solely for the purpose of meeting the financial needs of their member-owners by following seven cooperative principles.
All co-op businesses run in accordance with seven basic principles.
It’s important that members voluntarily choose to become members. Cooperatives are “open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership…”
Members ultimately control their cooperatives. When you attend your credit union’s annual meeting or vote for the board of directors, you’re exercising your member control.
“Cooperatives operate so that capital is the servant, not the master, of the organization.”
While governments determine the legislative framework within which co-ops function, this principle asserts that co-ops also have an “essential need to be autonomous in the same way that enterprises controlled by capital are…”
This principle says members can play their role in the cooperative only when they understand that role and the co-op. That’s one reason, for example, that your credit union provides you with this information and other educational tools.
Those managing a cooperative believe that co-ops have a unique opportunity to protect and expand the interests of ordinary people. This kind of one-for-all and all-for-one idea is unique. Even in areas where they compete, it’s common for credit unions to cooperate on activities.
Cooperatives exist primarily for the benefit of their members. Because of this strong association with members, they also are often closely and actively tied to their communities.
Edward Filene, founder of the first credit union in the United States.
A recognized visionary and innovator, Don W. Lewis has been a leader in the credit union movement for more than 40 years.
We are honored to be celebrating 85 years of serving you, our member-owners. On January 13, 1938, our cooperative was formed after nine employees at Aberdeen Proving Ground subscribed to one share of $5 each. Until 1960, the credit union was operated by volunteers. Today, we have grown to serve over 155,000 members through a professional staff, network of 15 branches and remote service options.
APGFCU is strong, committed and growing. Assets at year-end stood at $2.15 billion, making ours the fifth-largest credit union in Maryland. For some, larger may cause concern, as they like dealing with smaller institutions. A distinction of APGFCU is our commitment to remaining member-focused. The “people helping people” philosophy is how we began in 1938, and it’s how we still operate to this day. The decisions we make are through the lens of what is best for the membership and providing solutions to empower financial well-being.
Growth allows us to positively impact more individuals and families. This, in turn, positively impacts the communities in which we live. Growth also enables us to leverage economies of scale to return more to members in the form of better rates, lower fees and delivering products and services to meet changing needs. To support these efforts, your credit union committed to major technology upgrades in 2022, which are being implemented in 2023, and will enhance service delivery.
We were extremely excited to receive approval in 2022 from our federal regulator, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), to extend membership eligibility into Baltimore County and Baltimore City. This is the most significant expansion since 2003, when approval was received to serve all of Harford and Cecil counties. Our presence in Baltimore County began in 1971 when we were approved to serve the Air National Guard in Middle River, and later the greater Middle River community as an underserved area. Our approach as we expand is to be an educator and a community builder. In fact, we have already started. Just as we have done for years with schools in Harford and Cecil counties, we’re now partnering with schools in Baltimore County and Baltimore City to provide financial education to young people.
As we prepare for further excellence and growth, in addition to retaining our member focus, we will retain our conservative approach. We are committed to mitigating risks and remaining safe and secure. Each year, we continue to receive high ratings in our examinations from the NCUA. Our plans and actions, including for growth, are deliberate and controlled. We continue to build the credit union’s net worth to weather storms, such as the recent pandemic. Our credit union remains “well capitalized” per the NCUA, an indicator of our long-term financial strength, which places us in a strong position for growth.
In our approach to strategic planning, we focus primarily on three-year brackets of time. From December 31, 2019, to December 31, 2022:
Our strength is also demonstrated in our market share. In Harford and Cecil counties combined, APGFCU is ranked number one in deposit market share, holding 20% of all deposits. We also rank high in loan market share, holding nearly 48% of all home equity loan balances and 23% of all auto loan balances. We are the number one auto loan lender among dealership partners. As we make inroads in Baltimore County and Baltimore City, we will become a lender of choice there also.
Edward Filene, the Boston merchant who is considered the father of the credit union movement in the United States, said, “It is a great movement, worthy of great deeds, deserving of great loyalty.” We keep this quote at the forefront of our board, volunteers and staff, because we truly believe credit unions make a difference. We are committed to remaining true to our core values and helping families build good financial habits and a legacy that can be passed on to future generations.
Thank you for being a part of APGFCU, for your patience as we navigated the pandemic years and for your continued support as we grow stronger together.
Don W. Lewis President/CEO