We are delighted to announce that the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has approved our request to expand our field of membership in order to serve more residents of our area. That means that in addition to Franklin County, PA and Washington County, MD, Patriot membership is now open to businesses, organizations, and individuals who live, work, worship, attend school or regularly conduct business in Frederick County, MD and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia – Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan Counties.
What does this mean? We can now offer our brand of credit union service, servant leadership, and community support through our mission of “People Helping People” to these new communities. We believe that this enables us to better serve a larger group of Quad-State consumers and businesses who are inter-connected by the I-81 corridor and I-70. This new community charter places us in a great position to address the immediate and long-term financial needs of organizations and families, many of whom are underserved, as only a credit union like Patriot can.
What happens next? We will be rolling out our plans for welcoming residents of these communities to Patriot and sharing our unique value proposition. All the while, we will continue working diligently to the best financial institution and structure we can to serve not only our new markets, but our existing ones as well.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why did Patriot want to expand its Field of Membership?
Opening membership to Patriot to all those who live, work, worship, attend school, or regularly conduct business in Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan Counties in West Virginia and Frederick County, Maryland, was a logical step in our Credit Union’s evolution. In 2019, approximately 33% of all new members resided in these counties – thanks in a large part to our indirect lending program. Today, over 9,200 current Patriot members are residents of these counties. With just a few credit unions and numerous big banks in these markets, most consumers lack the financial choice that residents of Franklin and Washington County have today. The few credit unions that currently serve these new markets often lack the selection of product offering, convenience, and level of service that Patriot provides.
How is Patriot positioned to serve this expanded market area?
We believe that Patriot is the best qualified financial institution to meet the financial service needs of all of the Quad-State area – from Shippensburg PA down the I-81 corridor to Martinsburg, and along I-70 from Hagerstown to Frederick. Patriot is financially strong, with full-service, convenient locations and a wide range of financial products, services, and expanding accessible, intuitive digital offerings.
We have also put great focus on our social responsibility, supporting those same communities we serve. Make no doubt that we are not just another financial institution – it is our mission to help people, not just as a reliable, trusted financial partner that provides banking services, but by creating a community support culture that truly meets the needs of our members and the communities we serve. This serves as an opportunity for us to help more organizations, businesses, individuals, and families that make this area a great place to live, work, worship, go to school, and raise a family.
How is this beneficial for current Patriot members?
Because of the way a credit union is structured, as a financial cooperative, the health and strength of the organization is strongly dependent on the membership being engaged and utilizing its products and services. The more members that are an active part of the credit union and using its products and services, the better the ability to offer lower cost loan options, higher deposit rates, better digital service and access, and more community support. Our expansion into Frederick County, MD and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia will allow Patriot to provide our financial offerings to more consumers that need them and provide a much needed financial alternative to the big banks. In doing so, we will be able to increase our membership, and the ability to serve all our members, and our shared communities better.
With 79,000 members and growing, Patriot has been a strong financial partner to our members for over 55 years, and we look forward to being an even better partner with this expansion.
Does this mean we are taking away resources that currently support Franklin and Washington County?
Absolutely not! Our expansion into these communities does not take anything away from our focus, commitment, and support to the Franklin and Washington County community. Our expansion will afford us greater resources to expand our support of Franklin and Washington County residents, businesses, and organizations. As a part of this great community, we will continue to serve it as we always have while looking for even better ways to do so.
You haven’t mentioned Fulton County or the Borough of Shippensburg, which were areas included in our community charter. Are they still communities we will serve?
While we had to drop both of these communities from our community charter, we have no intention of NOT serving their businesses and residents.
The Borough of Shippensburg (which lies in both Franklin and Cumberland Counties): Plans are underway to build a new branch on that site. Given that most, if not all, Shippensburg area residents either work (Volvo and Proctor & Gamble are in Franklin County), worship, attend school (high school and middle school are in Franklin County, too), or regularly conduct business (i.e., shop at Weis Markets) in Franklin County, we are confident that we can continue to serve residents of the borough of Shippensburg even without the borough listed in our community charter.
Fulton County: Residents are generally used to traveling to shop, visit restaurants, or transact other business – mostly in Franklin County and Washington County. Similar to the Borough of Shippensburg residents, we believe that most will continue to be eligible through their work, worship, educational, or businesses connections. We intend to maintain our existing ATM in McConnellsburg, as well as continue to support Fulton County through community involvement, sponsorships and donations.
And what is critically important to remember, once a member of Patriot always a member. No existing Patriot member will have to give up their credit union membership.
Will you be opening new branches in Frederick County or the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia?
We will look at all our options with respect to new and future physical locations, in Berkeley, Jefferson, Morgan, and Frederick Counties, to best serve our expanded membership. Over the next five years, we believe that branch locations in the Martinsburg and Frederick areas are essential to Patriot serving these markets and we’ll be considering other sites for ATMs and/or branches.
We will also review how we already serve members, regardless of location, by leveraging digital services for those who like and want to conduct business electronically and remotely, on their own schedule. One of the biggest lessons we have learned during these past few months is that members are quite adept, and look for, newer convenient ways to serve their banking needs. We will examine and consider all options to offer the best mix of physical locations and technology that appropriately serves our membership.
We will continue to share information and details about this exciting news for Patriot Federal Credit Union and its membership, and where we go from here. In the meantime, if you have family, friends, and/or coworkers who live, work, study, worship, or regularly conduct business in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia or Frederick County, Maryland, please help us spread the news of who we are, and share with them the Patriot difference!
We want to thank all of you for your ongoing trust, confidence, and support of Patriot! It is because of you that we do what we do, and will continue to be here, for many years to come.