America First Federal Credit Union
America First Federal Credit Union The America First Federal Credit Union, which is presently based in Ogden, Utah, has undergone several changes since its inception in 1939. First, it began in Salt Lake City when the employees at Fort Douglas identified one key problem that prevents them from achieving financial independence in their futures. This key problem is the lack of financial resources. The banks are hesitant in providing loans for these employees and so they decided to pool together their resources and create a financial cooperative. Each of the 59 members of this newly established cooperative shared $25. And the cooperative was named the Fort Douglas Civilian Employees Credit Union. Then, the finance department of the United States Army that was based at Fort Douglas was transferred to Ogden, Utah. This was carried out on the 23rd of June, 1947. The 8 year old credit union also moved to Utah where it attracted more members. The name was then changed to accommodate the expansion of membership. The new name was the Federal Employees Credit Union. Two years later, the members were pleasantly surprised to learn that the total assets of their credit union have reached $13,063.45. Hiring an employee to manage the various affairs of the credit union appeared feasible. And on December 1954, the first employee was hired. Of course, the officials of the Board of Directors remained voluntary. By 1960, this credit union decided to accept more members, particularly those who were working at the Naval Supply Depot in Clearfield, Utah and those who were employees of the Hill Air Force Base. With employees from four military installations, the Federal Employees Credit Union is one of the largest existing credit unions in the country. By 1984, the name changed again in order to reflect the varied affiliations of the members. It became the America First Federal Credit Union. As of June 2009, the America First Credit Union has a total membership of 495,939. The total assets amounted to $4.8 billion. Based on assets, this credit union is ranked as the 13th largest in the United States. Based on membership, the America First Credit Union is the 8th largest financial cooperative. Banks are now recognizing the financial strength of credit unions. The credit unions, from the perspective of bankers, are competitors. In 1998, the banks filed charges against the Utah Charter of America First Credit Union for accepting members who are simply residents of Utah. The Utah State Legislature implemented a compromise that limited the membership to this credit union to residents who live in the five counties located along the Wasatch. In 2003, the banks, once again, sought to limit the financial capacities of credit unions by demanding that the credit unions be taxed. However, credit unions are non-profit. The members are the owners. And no stocks can be sold by credit unions. Credit unions file other various taxes but not in the same level that banks, which are geared towards profits and owned by stockholders, do. The action of the banks was suspended in 2005. But this does not mean that the banks will stop taking steps in making credit unions less capable in serving the members to the fullest.