Celebrating 50 years is an amazing achievement in any walk of life, but in business it is especially significant given the continuous evolution and improvements organisations have to make these days to stay in business. Having first opened their doors in 1970, First Choice Credit Union (FCCU) is one of the businesses who knows what it takes to be successful, and are celebrating their 50th anniversary to prove it. Beginning life as Calare Local Government Employees Credit Union, the organisation has continually adapted from supplying a much needed, locally based financial institution for council employees to being a credit union that serves and supports customers from all regions and walks of life.
General Manager of First Choice Credit Union, Paul Dawson, said that they had being able to adapt successfully was vital. "We have always put our member needs first, while keeping competitive within the industry," he said. "Being a small financial institution, we continue to offer a product based on old fashioned service while still evolving to provide the modern necessities of banking such as internet and mobile services".
While the COVID-19 outbreak has impacted all local businesses, FCCU has been focused on ensuring full service has been maintained to all members at all times. Paul said that the dedicated team was keen to assist those with loans who were experiencing financial hardship and continued to reach out to the more vulnerable members. "We have been making sure we were doing all we could to assist them during this stressful time," he said. "As we, as a community, start to get back to normal, we need to ensure that we all respect the various protocols that have kept us safe so far and don't allow complacency to sneak in". Protocols that unfortunately include putting a hold on any major recognition for the 50 year milestone, however Paul said they were looking forward to celebrating as soon as possible. "Given the current environment, initial celebrations will be pretty low key. We are looking forward to holding a function to properly acknowledge our achievements in 2021".
While other financial institutions throw around the title of "Community Bank", Paul said as a local Credit Union that has its foundations in the Orange and Cabonne region, FCCU are the true definition of banking that is dedicated to serving the local community. "By being local, our members and staff live and work in the Orange/Cabonne area that we support," he said. "We are committed to sourcing all supplies and services locally wherever possible and we sponsor a wide variety of local community groups, schools and events, sports teams and local Shows. Again, all staff live in the local area and our recruitment policy is very much focused on offering traineeships to local school leavers".
The future certainly looks bright for FCCU along with it's many members. With banking and finance an everyday necessity of life, Paul said FCCU had a clear direction moving forward. "It's pretty simple, we are committed to the Orange and Cabonne region and will continue to grow and prosper along with our chosen communities," he said. "Banking is becoming more and more technologically driven, we will ensure that our members are able to take advantage of this while still enjoying the professional and personalised service that has been our trademark over the last 50 years". For more information about First Choice Credit Union, along with the many products and services they provide, visit www.firstchoicecu.com.au.