NAR’s ‘virtual’ credit union absorbed in merger

Launched in 2008, Realtors FCU never turned a profit

Realtors Federal Credit Union, an online "virtual" credit union for members of the National Association of Realtors, has completed a merger with the brick-and-mortar Northwest Federal Credit Union, a larger institution with $2.25 billion in assets and 4,600 branch locations.

As of Aug. 1, Rockville, Md.-based Realtors FCU is a division of Herndon, Va.-based Northwest FCU, NAR announced Monday.

The credit union is a member benefit offered by NAR, and membership in the credit union is available to all Realtor members and their families, the staff of Realtor associations at the local, state and national level and their families, employees of multiple listing services and any Realtor-owned businesses, and to NAR’s institutes, societies and councils.

Launched in 2008 with a $15 million investment from NAR, Realtors FCU never turned a profit. When founding President and CEO Tom Glatt stepped down in 2010, the credit union was serving less than 1 percent of NAR members and wound up posting a $2.61 million net loss for the year.

According to filings submitted with the credit union’s regulator, the National Credit Union Administration, Realtors FCU posted a $1.98 million net loss in 2011 and a $607,453 loss during the second quarter of 2012, finishing the quarter with $73.9 million in assets and 7,928 members — 0.8 percent of NAR’s current membership.

At the end of the second quarter, Northwest FCU had 116,674 members and a net income of $16.4 million.

"We’re excited about this merger and the opportunity to provide NAR’s Realtor members and their families with a greater variety of personal and business products and resources that will help them achieve their unique financial goals; that could not have been achieved for several more years at our present RFCU growth rate," said Martin Edwards Jr., Realtors FCU board chairman and former NAR president, in a statement.

"While members can still enjoy the benefits of an Internet-based credit union, the merger with NWFCU will not only expand virtual access, but also allow in-person financial transactions." 

Members now also have access to "fee-free" business checking and debit cards, mortgage loans, commercial real estate loans, and business lines of credit, among other offerings, NAR said. Members’ account access, account numbers, user names, passwords, online banking services, customer service center, and website services are unaffected by the merger.


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