Continuing our growth:
With the transition to the Finex Credit Union brand, we are really beginning to see the benefits of “Wherever You Are” convenience and service efforts we put in place. First we redesigned our Vernon branch, improving the look while replacing traditional teller cash functions with a new more secure video center. Next we launched our first automated service center in ShopRite Supermarket in Manchester. Lastly we are deploying a new call center approach to provide more consistent phone response times.
While other banks and credit unions are scaling back in the face of change, closing branches and reducing staff, we are instead investing to expand access and convenience as you have asked us to. It is great to see that it is paying immediate dividends. We have expanded hours of operation by 35% and are now opened 7 days a week and until 7 pm on weekdays! We now provide more branch hours of operation than 90% of the banks and credit unions in the state.
In addition the branches now have leading edge ATMs and Interactive Video Tellers. We are able to scale and customize our operations to match member transactions needs which are now predominantly electronic, debit, and online. Personal touch is still essential for new accounts, loans, and problem resolution which is why we have added staff to better blend technology with your needs.
The initial member response is also very encouraging. Vernon membership and transactions have grown during the first four months as members adapted to using the video drive through and electronic access. In ShopRite of Manchester we have opened over 100 new member accounts in the first month of operation. There is a buzz as members new and old experience the convenience and modern feel of this leading edge supermarket service center.
We have received many positive comments on our new brand, the mix of service / technology, and the bright look and feel of the branch redesigns. There has also been a relatively smooth transition to video tellers with no substantial negative impact. The 300% increase in video security surveillance in the new branches is certainly a deterrent to robberies which continue to increase as I am sure you have seen in the statewide media over the past months.
We still have work to do training new staff, improving phone coverage, and expanding East Hartford hours of operation. But with our membership rapidly mirroring national trends of decreasing branch transactions, increasing electronic transactions, and increasingly conducting business digitally, we are well positioned to keep responding effectively for current members and future ones. Thank you so much for your support as we continue to grow the credit union to serve your needs.