Dear Fellow Members of the Georgetown and Credit Union Communities,

The Credit Union would like to take this opportunity to formally respond to the recent article released in The Hoya (“Student Credit Union Copes with Internal Problems,” Feb. 25, 2003). We strongly believe that this article misrepresents the state of affairs at your Credit Union, and would like to take this opportunity to address several concerns. We are sorry if the past few months have caused you to see some of the challenges we’re facing as we grow to meet and exceed the demands of our ever-expanding member base and renew our pledge to provide to you with exceptional service going forward.

The Hoya article alleges a breakdown in the Credit Union’s internal audit system. This could not be further from the truth. This year, with the approval and support of our government regulators at the National Credit Union Administration, we reorganized our system of internal checks and balances. Whereas our old system relied solely on student interns with no professional accounting or auditing experience to oversee our compliance and internal review efforts, we now have a system that places a much greater degree of responsibility on a thorough audit by a certified public accounting firm – and we continue to be audited annually by the NCUA. In addition, we now have a comprehensive internal audit program that monitors a variety of critical financial and account based areas of our business and have begun making our monthly financial statements available on our website.

The Hoya article alleges an inadequate training program. This too could not be further from the truth. Prior to an intern’s first teller shift, he/she must undergo an extensive training program. In addition to hands-on computer training and teller shift simulation, our human relations staff reviews all Credit Union policies, our history and the training is completed with a shadow shift where new tellers perform transactions with our more experienced tellers. Furthermore, we have always pushed our interns to excel in what they do. Our internship program, and in fact many of the core values upon which we are based, relies on the fact that our strongest asset is the unmistakable quality, integrity and creativity of our people. We encourage people to take on responsibility and to help us by sharing in decisions that impact the course of our business early on in their experience at the Credit Union. This is not at all to suggest, however, that our junior people – tellers especially – are without supervision. Every area of the Credit Union is supervised closely by our senior management. As you would expect, we have a number of policies and procedures in place to quickly identify and rectify any problems.

Yet, much more troubling, The Hoya article states that none of our interns have “any pride or personal investment in the Credit Union itself.” Our interns collectively donate more than 50,000 hours to the Georgetown Community every year. And, no matter what anyone may say, that kind of dedication and devotion is borne not out of a sole desire to improve one’s resume – but, rather, out of a passion for what we do and an excitement about the possibilities of being able to participate in a multi-million dollar financial institution while in college. We trust that any rational person would see that the true value-added of the Credit Union is not bullet points on a job application. It is hands on experience for those interested in business that you simply cannot get anywhere else.

We were founded in 1983 on the dream that the Credit Union could become something great. And having stood the test of 20 years of service to the Georgetown Community, that dream continues to be something we live today. Last year we were the first student-run institution to be awarded a CAMEL 1 rating from the NCUA – in addition to introducing a host of new online services and setting a new net income record. This year, we have set a new record with regard to the number of accounts and total assets the Credit Union is trusted with. And we have more interns working with us than ever before.

We want you to know that we are more committed than ever before to earning your trust, gaining your respect, and providing you with the highest quality of service you can find in a financial relationship – and we invite you to experience the new and exciting changes first hand in the coming months. These changes in the pipeline will include our recent purchase of a new ATM to be installed in The Leavey Center, telephone banking access and a much-improved real-time online banking service.

The Credit Union is more than $10 million strong. We are more than 120 people proud. And we are more dedicated than ever to proving our commitment to you, our members. We look toward the future with tremendous conviction that our greatest days lie ahead – and we look forward to sharing what we know will be many great accomplishments with you in the months and years to come.

Yours, very sincerely,

The GUASFCU Board of Directors & The 120 Interns Working For You

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