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From St Francis FCU Board President

Dear St Francis FCU Member,

For over 20 years, I have been a member of our credit union.  For much of that time, I have also volunteered on our Credit Union’s Board of Directors.   In our Credit Union’s effort to meet and exceed your personal financial needs, the Board realized the best way to serve you, our member, is to partner with Caro Federal Credit Union.

After in-depth study and consideration, as the Board President, I am excited about the future of our Credit Union, for our Credit Union staff and REALLY for each member.  With everyone’s busy lives and the added stress from the pandemic, our Board aimed to improve your remote access through a stronger mobile app, expanded digital banking services, and a 24/7 live call center.  Our Board spent several months weighing all options and looking for the right solution for our Credit Union’s members.  We were extremely impressed by the leadership at Caro, the technology they can offer our members and the tremendous member service experience. We will continue to serve you with the same friendly employees and branch location you have grown accustomed to and with the same personal touch you have come to expect.

Below is a statement of support from Bon Secours St. Francis (Greenville) President:

“The St. Francis Federal Credit Union has long been a valued partner of Bon Secours, supplying our associates with the tools needed to achieve financial stability so they can stay focused on providing compassionate care to our patients. This relationship is proof that collaboration with like-mind partners can go a long way in creating positive change. So, we’re excited to see St. Francis FCU seeking a partnership with Caro Federal Credit Union, as it will provide additional services and better access to financial assistance for its members. We look forward to continuing our relationship and hope it will remain a valued benefit for our associates for years to come.”

 Matt Caldwell, President, Bon Secours – St. Francis (Greenville)

I encourage you to read the Q&A below for further information. On June 1st, 2022 a packet has been mailed to each of our members containing additional information regarding this partnership process.

St. Francis Federal Credit Union and Caro Federal Credit Union together, will enhance your member service experience in ways not possible otherwise.

Becky Carter, MSN, RN

Board President, St. Francis Federal Credit Union

Click here to explore what Caro FCU has to offer

 

Partnership with CARO FCU

Questions & Answers for Our Members

 

Q1:  Why does St. Francis Federal Credit Union (ST. FRANCIS) want to partner?

Since its inception in 1966, the Board has strived to fulfill St Francis FCU’s mission to serve, educate, and aid its members in achieving their financial goals.

St. Francis FCU’s ongoing research for products and services that would allow 24/7 account access to our members became even more critical during the pandemic. Remote access became a must in continuing to effectively and safely serve our members. Throughout the last 24 months, it became clear that the best way to provide the convenience of remote access—such as depositing checks through the app, virtually opening and funding accounts, virtual loan applications and loan closings, and a 24/7 live call center—was necessary to best serve our members and better achieved by partnering with a credit union that has been successfully providing these same services across the country and world for years while maintaining excellent member satisfaction. Through our diligent research process, the credit union that stood out as the best partner in this endeavor was found to be Caro Federal Credit Union.

Together, St. Francis FCU and Caro will create a strong and nimble credit union that offers you even more value than you have today. In  planning  for  the future, both credit unions realize that  a combined organization would bring much greater strength and competitive advantages than each could provide on its own.

This partnership will also provide career growth and advancement opportunities to current St. Francis FCU employees which is critical to continue to provide you, our members, with high level expertise and knowledge to aid you with your financial goals.

Q2:  Why Caro Federal Credit Union?

We selected Caro because of its excellent reputation for member service, its strong financial position, and its expansive list of remotely accessible products and services. Caro is committed to providing exceptional member service, while maintaining the safety and security of members’ assets and information.

You will benefit from this new relationship by having access to a complete line of products and services you don’t have available today. These products and services include or will be substantially enhanced:

  • 24/7 call center access to a live person.
  • Online account opening.
  • Online loan application and closing.
  • Ability to deposit checks through Caro’s app.
  • Access to checking account with rewards.
  • Easy fund transfers to family members and friends (similar to Venmo, Zelle, Cash App, etc.)
  • Control over your debit card: instant issue at the branch, PIN selection, text alerts, freeze card via app, etc.
  • Mortgage and Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) directly with the credit union.
  • FREE access to your credit score and tips on how to improve your score.
  • Local/in branch ATM(s).
  • Business accounts and loans.
  • Access to Shared Branching network, giving you access to over 5,600 locations and 30,000 ATMs.
  • And much more!

Q3:  What happens to “me” as a member of the Credit Union?

The credit union philosophy of “Once a Member, Always a Member” is alive and well.

At first, nothing will change. St Francis FCU’s entire staff will be training and preparing to ensure a smooth transition and will assist you with any questions you may have. During the transition process, all members of St. Francis FCU will seamlessly become a member of the combined credit union under the Caro name. You will receive a Caro membership packet, which will include all the information you need to enroll in the new products and services available to you. Caro’s call center will also be made available, where you will have access to a live person 24/7.

Q4: Will there be a share adjustment payout?

Yes, if the partnership is approved by St. Francis FCU members.

Currently St. Francis’ net worth is 21.01% with Caro’s at 14.35%. While some funds must be set aside for anticipated expenses to ensure a successful transition, St. Francis FCU board has approved a special dividend payout to our members to thank them for their support by being loyal members of St. Francis FCU. The total approximate amount will be $250,000. The give back will be divided evenly to each St. Francis member as of the last day of operation of St. Francis FCU. The estimated special dividend amount will be approximately $125.00 per member.

Q5: How will this process affect my current certificate of deposit and/or loan rates?

Caro will honor current St. Francis FCU certificate of deposit rates until the maturity date. At  CD maturity, the CD will be renewed with the same term. You will receive a renewal notice, and you will have a 5-day grace period should you desire to make any changes.

Caro will honor your current rate and all current terms on your existing loan(s) with St. Francis FCU until the loan is paid off. New loan requests will be granted based on Caro’s ongoing rates. There will be no requirement to purchase or utilize any additional services to maintain your current rates.

Q6: Will my funds continue to be insured?

Your deposits will continue to be insured up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) as they are today.

Q7: What will happen to any electronic services such as ACH, Automatic Withdrawals and Payroll Deductions?

We do not expect any interruption to your electronic services such as direct deposit and automatic withdrawals. We are preparing future communications that will include specific information about any changes to your accounts or electronic services. Our intentions are to keep you informed and make this transition as seamless as possible.

Q8: Will I be able to access my account history?

Yes, you will have access to the last 2-year account history in the form of electronic statements by accessing your account online or through the app. More information will be sent to inform you when the conversion will take place and how to retrieve your statements for the previous 24 months.

Q9:  When will the partnership take place and when will St. Francis FCU become Caro?

We anticipate the partnership to take effect on July 31, 2022, after the close of business. However, rest assured that nothing will change on this date. We will send out a welcome packet detailing the expected timeline for when you will gain access to Caro’s products and services.

Q10:  What will the credit union be called and where will the headquarters be located?

The credit union will be called Caro Federal Credit Union. The current branch location of St. Francis FCU at 121 Sumner Street, Greenville, SC 29601 will remain open, and it will be called the St. Francis branch. Caro Federal Credit Union’s main office is: 4480 Rosewood Drive, Columbia, SC 29209.

Q11:  What happens to the St. Francis FCU Board of Directors?

Caro Federal Credit Union Board will provide one Board seat to St. Francis FCU current Board President, Rebecca Carter. Becky is System Director, Nursing Informatics with Bon Secours Mercy Health system in Greenville, SC. Mrs. Carter has served on St Francis FCU’s Board for 20 years (since 2002) and was elected Board President in 2017. She will continue to be a strong and dedicated advocate for the needs of all hospital employees as well as all other St. Francis FCU members. All current volunteers of St. Francis Federal Credit Union are invited to participate in a non-voting volunteer capacity as members of the Advisory Board.

Q12: Can I be involved as a volunteer once the partnership process is approved?

Yes! Your opportunity to participate in a democratic cooperative remains. You can be elected to the volunteer leadership of the credit union, and you still have your vote in the annual elections. In addition, all credit union members (primary account holders) of St. Francis FCU are invited to participate in a non- voting volunteer capacity as members of the Advisory Board. The selection process will begin after the official partnership date. More details will be included in packet we mailed to our members.

Q13:  Where should I mail my deposits and payments?

There will not be a change to our mailing address. You may continue to mail deposits and payments to our office at 121 Sumner Street, Greenville, SC 29601. If changes occur, Caro will notify you in advance and help you step-by-step with any changes.

Q14:  Will the employees of St. Francis FCU be retained?

It is Caro and St. Francis FCU’s desire to retain 100% of St. Francis FCU’s employees. We will continue to serve you with the same friendly employees you have grown accustomed to and with the same personal touch you have come to expect. In addition, you will have access to all current Caro employees and their expertise. This includes Caro’s 24/7 live call center.

Q15: What else can you tell me about Caro?

Caro was chartered in 1967 to serve the University of South Carolina Faculty and Staff. Through the years, Caro expanded to serve the entire University of South Carolina community, University of South Carolina Upstate, Midlands Technical College, Benedict College, AgFirst Farm Credit Bank, and the Veterans Affairs office.

Caro focuses on providing convenient, high tech financial services with personal service as a cornerstone of Caro’s existence. Caro serves over 6,000 members across the United States and globally with $110 million in assets. Caro offers real solutions for real people. That means Caro is passionate about helping members gain control of their financial future, no matter what stage of life they are in.

Caro is strong financially and is highly rated by regulators. Our staff and volunteers welcome you and St. Francis FCU to the Caro family.

You may also visit Caro FCU website at https://smartcaro.org

 

Q16: Who should I contact if I have additional questions?

If you have questions about this partnership, or would like more information, please refer to the members’ packet that has been mailed on June 1st, 2022.

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