The Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union was established in 1976 by the founders of the Polish & Slavic Center led by Rev. Longin Tolczyk. The founders wanted to help immigrants who, upon arrival in New York City, wanted to buy houses in Greenpoint but were turned down by the banks. Banks were unwilling to extend credit for purchases or renovations of real estate properties to people who did not yet have an established credit history, especially since these properties were located in an area that was run-down at the time.
On December 27, 1976 federal authorities of the National Credit Union Administration registered the “Industrial and Commercial Federal Credit Union”. The Credit Union charter was signed by Rev. Emil Altmajer, Marek Luniewski, Jan Raczkowski, Rev. Longin Tolczyk, Jozef Waltos, Jerzy Wolinski and Halina Zolnierowicz.
Two and a half years later, the name of the Credit Union was changed to “Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union”. The first PSFCU office was located at 940 Manhattan Avenue, adjacent to the canteen of the Polish & Slavic Center. In 1981, PSFCU purchased a building at 140 Greenpoint Avenue, which served as its headquarters.
In 1987, our Credtit Union opened a second branch located in Union, NJ, offering its services to the vast community of Polish immigrants residing in that part of the state. Subsequent years witnessed a quick growth of the PSFCU, with new branches being opened on Kent Street, Brooklyn, NY (1992), in Boro Park, Brooklyn, NY (1996), Clifton, NJ (1996), Ridgewood, Queens, NY (2001), Bayonne, NJ (2001), Linden, NJ (2003), Copiague, NY (2004), McGuinness Blvd., Brooklyn, NY (2005), Maspeth, Queens, NY (2008). On February 25, 2007, PSFCU ventured into Pennsylvania, where it deployed an ATM for Polish pilgrims at American Czestochowa in Doylestown. In 2010, PSFCU started its expansion into Illinois into the areas surrounding Chicago, with branches in Norridge and Mr. Prospect, and soon after added another branch in Bridgeview (2011).
In addition to our fifteen branches, our Credit Union also has a modern Operations Center located in Fairfield, NJ, allowing us to serve over 76 thousand members. With over one billion dollars in assets, PSFCU is currently the largest ethnic credit union in the United States.
A credit union is owned by all its members. Credit union members, all of whom have equal voting rights, elect the Board of Directors which oversees its daily operations and sets its strategic goals for the future. A bank, on the other hand, is owned by its shareholders.
A credit union is an integral part of the community it serves; profits earned by a credit union serve all its members and the local community they represent, including various community organizations (schools, churches, scouting and student organizations, etc.)
By contrast, a bank is seldom interested in the prosperity of its local community since it is geared towards earning the highest possible profit for its shareholders who rarely reside in, or are in touch with, the immediate neighborhood of a local bank branch.
In order to become a member of our Credit Union, or any other credit union, one must meet certain specific conditions. In the case of PSFCU, prospective member must be a member of one of the eight sponsoring organizations: the Polish & Slavic Center (Brooklyn), Polish Cultural Foundation (Clark, NJ), Polonia of Long Island, Inc. (Long Island), the Polish Supplementary School Council of America, the General Pulaski Memorial Parade Committee, Alliance of Polish Clubs in the United States (Chicago) or the Polish Highlanders Alliance of North America (Chicago, IL), Kosciuszko Foundation (New York, NY).
1.0 Policy Statement
The purpose of this Policy is to define circumstances under which Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union ("PSFCU") may limit services offered to members, joint account holders and users, and define circumstances under which PSFCU may expel members.
2.0 Privilege of Membership
2.1 The PSFCU membership is a privilege. It is not a right. PSFCU has no obligation to open a membership account or to extend any services to any particular person. Being qualified to apply for membership (i.e., being within the field of membership of PSFCU) does not obligate PSFCU to approve any person or entity for membership, when it is in the best interests of PSFCU to deny such a privilege. This applies to new applicants as well as to any persons whose membership is terminated for any reason who reapply for membership at a later time.
2.2 Once a membership is established it remains in effect until that person or entity chooses to withdraw or is expelled in accordance with the FCU Act and Article XIV of PSFCU’s bylaws.
2.3 PSFCU reserves the right to limit services to any member, joint account holder or user and expel any member who violate any PSFCU policies, procedures, standards, agreements with PSFCU; or applicable laws, regulations or rules; and where the PSFCU in good faith determines that it may incur any loss; or face exposure to any risks to the PSFCU.
2.4 In the event the member is subject to sanctions and/or limitations of service, PSFCU shall preserve such member’s fundamental membership rights. The Federal Credit Union Act provides each member of a federal credit union two fundamental rights:
All additional accounts and/or services are provided solely at the PSFCU discretion and may be rescinded or revoked at any time without notice.
2.5 PSFCU may also restrict or deny any joint owner or other authorized user of any account(s) or service(s) who has caused the PSFCU any loss; may cause the PSFCU a loss; exposes the PSFCU to any risk; or otherwise has violated any PSFCU policies, procedures, standards, laws, regulations or other rules as otherwise addressed herein. This includes the right to terminate existing use of account(s) and/or services as appropriate where such joint owner is not entitled to the protections of membership as addressed in the NCUA Gen. Counsel Op. Letter No. 05-0723 (Sept. 20, 2005).
Services may be denied to members, account holders or users who engage in any of the following:
Denial of service entails:
Threats of any nature conducted on PSFCU premises, over the phone, or through other means of communications will be reported to the local authorities. Where necessary and appropriate Executive Management, at their sole discretion may seek a restraining order against any member who poses a threat to the safety of PSFCU staff and/or officials.
These limitations shall not prohibit member(s) from exercising their rights under federal or state law or regulation.
4.0 Expulsion of Member
4.1 The only “for cause” expulsion is for reason of nonparticipation defined as
4.2 Member may be expelled for any reason at the special meeting held for this purpose.
4.3 Expulsion of members is conducted in accordance with Article XIV of PSFCU Bylaws:
“Section 1. Expulsion procedure; expulsion or withdrawal does not affect members’ liability
or shares. A member may be expelled by a two-thirds vote of the members present at special
meeting called for that purpose, but only after the member has been given the opportunity to be
heard. A member also may be expelled under a nonparticipation policy adopted by the board of
directors and provided to each member in accordance with the Act. Expulsion or withdrawal will
not operate to relieve a member of any liability to this credit union. All amounts paid in on
shares by expelled or withdrawing members, before their expulsion or withdrawal, will be paid
to them in the order of their withdrawal or expulsion, but only as funds become available and
only after deducting any amounts due to this credit union.”
5.0 Uniformly and Impartially Applied
PSFCU will ensure that this policy is uniformly and impartially applied to all members.
6.0 Policy Reviews, Amendments, and Approvals
The Board shall review and approve this policy every three years and may at any time amend this policy to meet the needs of the PSFCU.