Addressing Member Issues and Questions Posed at the 2021 Annual Meeting
April 30, 2021
Questions and issues were raised at the March 16, 2021, Annual Meeting. We appreciate your comments and the opportunity to address these topics.
- Fee increases that went into effect March 1, 2021: The credit union has earned income over the last five years or more. Why did the fee increases happen during this pandemic time when job loss has occurred?
Fees are used to partially offset the cost of providing services that members use. Controlling the cost of operating the credit union makes it possible to improve existing services and offer new ones. Financial services continue to evolve so account fees are a way to sustainably expand and improve services in a fiscally responsible way by having members who use the services contribute toward the financial well-being of their credit union.
- Free box of checks: The credit union has always offered a free box of checks for each checking account. This was a benefit for many years. Why did the board take this away? The board needs to restore this benefit to the members.
Members enrolled in one of the three Aloha Rewards Checking accounts can still receive a free box of standard checks every year. Even Points Checking, which has no monthly requirements to maintain the account, offers a free box of checks each year. It’s easy to switch to an Aloha Rewards Checking account; our Call Center team can help you make the switch: (808) 531-3711 (or 1-877-531-3711 U.S. toll free). Or you can open your account online at alohapacific.com or kekahacu.com any time.
We also understand that many of our members are happy with the checking accounts they already have and have used responsibly for years. We believe that expanded and affordable access to your money is a service many members value. We have listened to your concerns and are evaluating ways to bring back this benefit to all checking accountholders.
- Non-operating income: Can the board give back to the members the $2 million non-operating income?
The pandemic created financial uncertainty and unusual circumstances during 2020 including rapid growth and increased exposure to loan losses. Actions were taken to grow net worth to bolster the credit union’s financial position. Net worth acts as a buffer or safety net against financial shocks. Approaches that are not normally a part of day-to-day credit union operations were used in 2020 to add to net income which in turn was added to net worth. Although labeled as “non-operating” for financial reporting purposes, generating income of this nature represents one of the tools that is available to ensure the safety and soundness of your credit union.
- Why has there been no TV advertising?
The pandemic provided an opportunity to re-evaluate the way we reach our members and our community. Much of our effort in 2020 was directed at keeping our members safe by adding protective measures in our branches and encouraging members to use our mobile and online services. We also supported our community during the pandemic through meals, volunteering and donations so that we could help to keep Hawaii strong. As we emerge from the pandemic we are exploring new and effective ways to communicate our story to members and the community at large. As they say in television, “Stay tuned.” There is more to come.