Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union is where Seattle banks. For over 80 years Seattle Metropolitan has provided affordable and innovative financial services to the families of this great city and beyond. Because we were born here and are owned by our members, we make every decision with our community’s interests in mind. We are not-for-profit, which means our success is our members’ success. It allows us to offer better rates on loans, keep fees low on checking and savings products, and even create new ways to give back through products like our Feel Good Checking account, which offers $20 to a local non-profit partner for every account opened. Live here, bank here.
Since 1933, Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union has provided financial services to the employees and family members of the City of Seattle. Since then, we have expanded our charter to include anyone who lives or works in the state of Washington.
Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial cooperative. When individuals become members of a credit union, they become equal shareholders, each with one vote to elect their volunteer Board of Directors and Supervisory Committee. These volunteers oversee a professional management team and overall credit union operations.
You have probably heard SMCU referred to as a "financial cooperative" or a "co-op." Seattle is home to a variety of co-ops, like PCC, Madison Market and REI. But what is a co-op, exactly, and what do we all have in common?
A cooperative is an independent group of people who come together to address a common need through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.
Members of the co-op own and control the business together with one vote per member, unlike companies run by stockholders who can increase the weight of their vote relative to the number of shares they own. It is this co-operative autonomy and local control that has kept Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union sound and secure in good times and bad.
SMCU is guided by the 7 Co-operative Principles that date back to some of the earliest co-ops that formed in the 1800s. To this day these principles form the foundation on which cooperatives around the world provide benefits to their members. Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union has adapted these principles to the financial needs and goals of its members; they provide the standard against which the credit union is operated.
Principle #1: Inclusiveness
Membership Should Be Open To All
Membership at Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union is open to all who live or work in the State of Washington, without gender, social, racial, political, or religious discrimination. It is the mission of the credit union movement to offer financial alternatives to underbanked and credit-challenged members of our communities.
Principle #2: Voice
Members Should Call The Shots
Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union is a democratically run organization, controlled by our members. Our Board of directors is composed of volunteers from our membership, and each representative is democratically elected by our members.
Principle #3: Participation
Member participation leads to rates, fees and services that benefit the entire credit union.
Surpluses are returned to members in the form of fewer fees, more services, lower interest on loans and higher dividends on deposits. The more members participate, the more there is to go around.
Principle #4: Independence
Autonomy & Independence Set Us Apart
As a financial cooperative, Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union is autonomous and independent because we are controlled by our members, not outside shareholders. If SMCU seeks to enter into agreements with other organizations it must be done in ways that ensure cooperative autonomy and continued control by members only.
Principle #5: Education
Financial Education Should Be Free & Available To All
Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union believes that education is important. SMCU provides free education to members, elected representatives, management and employees so that all can prosper and contribute to the growth and wellbeing of the cooperative. SMCU provides financial information via seminars, workshops, newsletters and our Web site. We support programs and organizations that promote financial literacy, such as Washington CASH, Washington Business Week, and Credit University, to name a few.
Principle #6: Cooperation
Cooperation Among Cooperatives Is Vital
As a not-for-profit financial cooperative, Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union serves its members best and contributes to the cooperative movement by working with other cooperatives through local, state, regional, national and international organizations.
Principle #7: Community
Giving Back To The Community Is A Priority
Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union believes it is a priority to give back to the communities where we do business while focusing on our members and their needs. Through programs like our Green Loans and Feel Good Checking non-profit partnerships, SMCU seeks to achieve a greater good through responsible corporate citizenship.
Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union (SMCU) provides financial services to anyone who lives or works in the state of Washington including the following groups:
Anyone who meets these eligibility requirements may join Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union. There are three convenient ways to establish membership: