The History of American United Family of Credit Unions
Updated June 17, 2014
American United Federal Credit Union has been serving members since December 1952. The credit union is a wholly member-owned, non-profit cooperative financial institution, dedicated to serving the financial needs of its members. We pledge ourselves to be the difference that makes a difference in the lives of our members.
Membership in American United is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, volunteers, attends school, or associates in Salt Lake County, Utah and credit union members can also invite their relatives to join, even if they do not associate in Salt Lake County.
As of the end of 2013, American United serves over 18,000 members, with eight branches in Utah and California. The credit union oversees all operations from its administrative office in West Jordan, Utah.
American United and VAMCU:
Originally founded in 1952 as the Fort Douglas VA Hospital Federal Credit Union, the credit union began serving members out of a small room inside the VA Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. The primary focus of the credit union was to serve the employees of Fort Douglas and the VA Medical Center. The credit union quickly outgrew the small space and during the 1970s moved to the current location of the VAMCU branch, between buildings 4 and 5 on the VA Medical Center Campus. Later, a second floor was added to the building, which formerly served as the corporate offices for American United.
In 1980, the credit union’s name was changed to VAMCU Federal Credit Union. The name VAMCU was derived from Veteran Affairs Medical Credit Union, emphasizing the credit union’s primary membership of the VA Medical Center. The VAMCU Branch continues to serve both credit union members and shared branching members at its location on the VA Medical Center campus at 500 South Foothill Drive in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The 2000s brought many changes to VAMCU. This included the NCUA granting a community charter, thereby expanding the credit union’s membership to include all of Salt Lake County. The credit union also underwent a major renovation and appointed a new President and CEO, Phillip Patten, who proposed the American United name and concept of a “family of Credit Unions” coming together to save the affinity and unity felt in smaller credit unions, yet gain strength through working together for the benefit of the members. Soon after, the newly created American United added its first member of the family of credit unions from the merger with BluesPlus Federal Credit Union.
American United and BluesPlus:
BluesPlus Federal Credit Union was founded in 1961 to serve the members of Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Utah. BluesPlus and VAMCU completed their merger on January 1, 2007 and together formed American United Family of Credit Unions. BluesPlus continued to operate as the BluesPlus branch of American United, within the Regence building in Cottonwood Heights until early 2011.
Due to restructuring of the Regence offices and a desire to focus more on the community at large, the credit union decided to relocate the BluesPlus branch on May 1, 2011 to the now renamed Fort Union branch, located on Fort Union Boulevard.
The Fort Union Branch continues to serve both credit union members and shared branching members at its location at 2277 East Fort Union Boulevard in Cottonwood Heights, Utah.
American United and First Californian:
First Californian is the only member of the American United family who was not the result of a merger. Opened on February 23, 2009, the First Californian Division of American United was founded to “serve the underserved” members of the Tribal Volunteer Employee Advocates group, which is an outreach service group for Native Americans and their employees. The group is based in Murray, Utah, yet has extensive membership in southern California.
The Morongo Branch of the First Californian Division operates to serve the members of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and their employees. The Morongo reservation is located in Riverside County, near Palm Springs and the Morongo tribe owns and operates a casino in Cabazon, California. American United and First Californian pride ourselves in our ability to offer a wide selection of financial products and services previously unavailable to many of our tribal members, along with a selection of uniquely tailo red products ideally targeted to the specific needs of the Morongo community.
The First Californian Division continues to serve credit union members at its Morongo Branch location of 19750 Seminole Drive in Cabazon, California.
American United and Big Valley:
Big Valley Federal Credit Union was founded in 1978 to serve the members of the AUB organization. Although Big Valley has served its members well for many years, a desire to offer a broader selection of products and services led Big Valley to seek merger opportunities with other financial institutions. The merger with American United was finalized on January 1, 2011.
Since the merger, the Big Valley branch has undergone a renovation and opened its doors as a Credit Union Service Center, shared branching location. The Big Valley branch is American United’s best location for servicing members in the southern end of Salt Lake Valley and Utah County.
The Big Valley Branch continues to serve both credit union members and shared branching members at its location of 247 West 12300 South #C in Draper, Utah.
American United and VAF:
Salt Lake City VAF Federal Credit Union was founded in 1935 to serve the employees of the VA Regional Office in Salt Lake City, Utah. The new regulatory environment surrounding the financial industry has made it increasingly difficult for small credit unions to continue their mission to serve their members and VAF was no different. On July 1, 2011 the merger with American United was completed and the list of products and services available to credit union members was drastically expanded.
The VAF Branch, located inside the VA Regional Office, has been closed for all future operations, however, an ATM has been installed one level below the lobby of the VA Benefits office. VAF members are also encouraged to visit the VAMCU office just a short walk away. It also features drive-thru access for your convenience.
American United and Credit Union One:
Credit Union One was founded in 1951 to serve Safeway Supermarkets, the Utah Transit Authority, the Union Pacific Railroad and several other associated groups.
American United and Credit Union One had worked together on several joint ventures over the years and developed a good working relationship. This relationship meant that when Credit Union One began looking for a merger partner in 2011, American United was on the short list.
American United was one of several credit unions, including some very large credit unions, vying to become Credit Union One’s choice for a merger partner, but American United’s dedication to our membership and pledge to be the difference that makes a difference, ultimately won out. Both American United and Credit Union One are excited these changes have taken place and the additional opportunities it has provided us to serve our members.
The merger with Credit Union One brought three new branches into the American United Family. Branch locations are:
2687 West 7800 South in West Jordan, Utah
8621 South 700 East in Sandy, Utah
3226 South Main Street in South Salt Lake City, Utah.
All three branches serve credit union members and shared branching members. Additionally, the Main Street and West Jordan branches include Saturday hours of operation, a first for American United! The American United Family of Credit Unions administrative offices are currently located on the second floor of the West Jordan branch.
American United and Newspaper Employees Credit Union:
Newspaper Employees Credit Union (NECU) was founded in 1931 to serve the employees of the Salt Lake Tribune, and later the Newspaper Agency Corporation. Word continues to spread about the benefits of merging with American United, and the merger between NECU and American United was finalized on October 1, 2013. NECU and American United share many common technologies which made this merger a natural fit with very little disruption to our members.
NECU, like many others, had been feeling regulatory pressures, while at the same time, needed to offer a wider variety of products and services to their members. The merger with American United accomplished this, and allowed the NECU employees to maintain the same operations that members have come to know and enjoy doing business with.
This addition adds a branch on the west end of the Salt Lake County at 4770 South 5600 West in Kearns (located just inside the front doors of the Newspaper Agency Corporation building).
American United and Deseret News Employees Credit Union:
Deseret News Employees Credit Union was originally founded in 1946 to serve the members of the Salt Lake Printing Center. After the LDS church purchased the press, the field of membership expanded to include Deseret Management Corporation and the employees of the Deseret News newspaper, around the Salt Lake City, Utah area. The Deseret News and American United merger was completed on November 1, 2014.
Like many smaller financial institutions, Deseret News has been feeling regulatory pressures and needed to provide its members with more sophisticated technologies and products and services, such as online and mobile banking, mobile deposit and a full array of lending products.
This merger allows Deseret News to full implement these products and services, while maintaining the same people who have served the members for so many years. Led by Janette Mack, the Deseret News grew its membership to over 390 members with assets of more than $1,600,000.
The branch will continue to serve both credit union members and CO-OP shared branching members at its location at 1377 South Redwood Road in Salt Lake City, Utah.