Being a member of a credit union is different from being a customer at a bank. Credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives that are owned by the people they serve which is why we have member-owners, not customers. We operate under the credit union philosophy of “people helping people”, but where did that come from?

Credit unions got their modern day start in 1901, but really grew in size and strength after President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act into law in June 1934.

Soon after, seven visionaries working in the heart of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard imagined the possibility this credit union could not only be a part of the Pacific Northwest community, but help members do the things they dream of – together. That’s how Navy Yard Metal Trades Credit Union came to be, and even though our name has changed and we’ve grown over the last several decades, we hold the “people helping people” credit union philosophy close to our hearts.

Here are a few more differences between credit unions and banks:

Credit Unions Banks
Purpose For people, not for profit For profit
Ownership Members share ownership Customers with no ownership, but a few shareholders
Decision Democratically controlled by member-owners Controlled by paid officials
Service Service driven Profit driven
Profits Return profits to members in the form of dividends, better rates, low or no fees, and new services and products Return profits to shareholders
Insurance Federally Insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Federally insured by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)