By Scott Olson
Last fall First Community Credit Union sent out letters to all of its Creswell branch members advising that they were planning to close the Creswell branch in February 2016. On Tuesday, Jan. 12, FCCU reversed that decision, and President and CEO David Elmer announced that the Creswell branch will remain open for now.
Speaking before a standing-room-only crowd during a community meeting held at Creswell Community Center last week, Elmer’s announcement was met with applause and cheers by those in attendance.
Elmer said he really didn’t want to close the branch, but noted that it has been under-performing compared to other FCCU branches around the state. He noted that the board of directors met in August 2015 and the decision was made during a strategic planning session to close the branches in Creswell and Banks, Ore.
However, when the board met again in December, he asked the board to give Creswell another try.
“I told the board that I would really like to give it (Creswell) another try and they said yes,” Elmer said.
They set some goals for the Creswell branch that aren’t too hard to reach. “What we want to see is progress,” Elmer said.
“We love small communities, we know small communities,” Elmer told the audience. “We want to be in small towns and we want our small-town branches to be successful.”
However, Elmer noted that Creswell is a bedroom community to Eugene, and for whatever reason, many of the loans the credit union needs to be successful are going elsewhere.
“What we need in Creswell is loans,” Elmer said. “We are offering 2.50 percent and no loan fee to refinance your home. If anyone you know has a mortgage, tell them to come with us and they will love us.”
Elmer said that First Community Credit Union’s model is to rely on referrals by its members. He noted that they don’t do a lot of advertising, but they are active in the communities they represent and rely a lot on word of mouth by their members.
Elmer did note that the board of directors will be reviewing Creswell’s progress again in September to see if improvement is being made. But for now, First Community Credit Union will continue to be a part of the Creswell community.
By Scott Olson