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Zim US Fam Federal Credit Union

ZUF Federal Credit Union is a project that was chosen through a voting process among other project ideas presented within the Zim Family US Investment group that will soon be adopted under our new non-profit organization called the Zim US Family Collective. The Federal Credit Union is our first project as a community and will be our primary focus in 2024 & 2025 to get it established and operational before we pursue new projects.

A Credit union is a not-for-profit organization, this does not mean the credit union can not generate profits, it certainly can. What makes it a not-for-profit organization is the fact that it is a cooporative owned and controlled by the Members who use its services. Credit unions operate to promote the well-being of their Members. Profits made by credit unions are returned back to Members in the form of dividends, reduced fees, higher savings rates, and lower loan rates.

Credit Union Member ownership is not the same as shareholder ownership that you find in a regular for profit organization.  For example a traditional bank is owned by shareholders, while a credit union is owned by it's members. Member ownership of a credit union means: credit union members have a say in how the institution is run. In a credit union, membership means ownership with 1 vote per member. 

What does it take to form a credit union?

Approval to form and operate a credit union is granted by the United States National Credit Union Administration. There is a compliance heavy chartering process our credit union management team has to complete. This process takes approximately 310 days, not counting all the pre-requisite preparation time needed, and that can take several months. Our credit union management team  is working hard to get all the pre-requisites completed to meet application qualifications demanded by the National Credit Union Administration. Please see a previous presentation on formation  by clicking here.
 

How will the credit union be funded?

There are costs associated with formation stage (pre-chartering work association with registrations, securing office address, websites, marketing assets,  credit union team training, and consultants), and post formation state (operating the credit union).

These cost must be funded my monies provided by future members, sponsors and raised through donations. The NCUA requires the monies collected to be called donations and not investments in order to comply with a credit union being a not-for-profit. The word donation has been specifically stipulated by the NCUA.

Our credit union management team is working pro-bono and not receiving any salaries/pay for the next 3 years, this further helps us channel all monies raised towards:

  1. Pre-chartering expenses mentioned.

  2. Securing our credit union application with the NCUA,

  3. Reserving proof of capital needed to demonstrate we have enough funds to offer services to our members once approved. 

  4. Procuring insurance needed,

  5. Securing certifications needed,

  6.  Setting up member service benefits with shared branch location arrangements (estimated to cost $12000 per year),

  7. Procuring member account service management systems required for the credit union to function.

  8. Securing reserves to qualify as adequately funded (Net worth ratio of 7% minimum to meet a “well-capitalized” level within the projection period ). This is audited by the NCUA. If we are not adequately funded we will not pass our audit examinations.

 

Click here to learn more about our fundraising donations and how we will honor our donors. 

What services will the Zim US Fam Federal Credit Union offer its members?

Our credit union will offer basic financial products in the first 5 years of operation.  These basic financial products will be:

  • Regular share accounts: savings, vacation clubs

  • Small consumer loans: personal, education. Members can use loan products to build credit.

  • Credit counseling and financial literacy services.

After 5 years of successfully operating the credit union with the products listed above, we will review our services for expansion to offer bigger or more diverse loans and additional low fee financial products which members can vote for. Here are some examples of what we plan for as part of our strategy:​

  • Short term insurance

  • Long term insurance

  • Banking services

  • Immigration services to legally document members (for a subsidized fee)

Member experience, what to expect overall:

  • We will have policies that are sensitive to our cultural background / socialization/ socio-economic statuses.

  • We will prioritize the Zimbabwean community membership (with exception of some contracted SME needs & investment opportunities).

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