Sunmark State Conversion FAQ
On Wednesday, January 1, 2020 Sunmark officially converted from a federal to a state-chartered credit union. Federal regulators, the New York Department of Financial Services and a membership vote approved the conversion.
We have provided a list of frequently asked questions below to help explain the purpose for this exciting change and how it will afffect Sunmark members.
Federal to State Charter FAQ
What is the difference between a state and a federal charter? A federal charter means Sunmark was regulated by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). A state charter means Sunmark is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services, which also regulates other financial institutions in New York.
Is it common to convert from a federal to a state charter? Yes. Additional credit unions in New York and nationwide are state chartered. In many states, including New York, the state charter is more flexible than a federal charter regarding field of membership expansion.
Will the credit union and my money be as secure as it has been? Yes. In fact, the federal and state reviews are nearly identical. All state-chartered credit unions are examined on a twelve to eighteen-month time frame. Additionally, third-party audits are performed year-round to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations.
Will this change impact federal insurance coverage? No, the change does not impact federal insurance coverage. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) operates the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) to protect accounts at federally insured credit unions up to $250,000. Sunmark will remain a federally insured credit union.
When can I expect the charter conversion to happen? The conversion date is official as of January 1, 2020.
Will any branches and ATMs close or relocate? No branches will close, but a branch or ATM may be added to better serve members in particular areas.
Is membership eligibility at the credit union going to change? With our previous charter, you could only become a member if you live, work, worship, and attend school in Schenectady, Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Montgomery and Schoharie Counties. With our new state-charter, you can become a member if you live, work, worship, attend school, volunteer in or regularly conduct business in the counties previously listed and now may have the opportunity to bank in Warren, Fulton, Columbia, Greene, Dutchess, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester Counties. We will also be able to serve persons that belongs to a business or association that has signed up with the Sunmark to make membership available to its employees or association members, regardless of what county or state you work in..
I am a member now, but I live, work, worship, volunteer and go to school outside of those Counties. What is going to happen to my membership? Absolutely nothing! Once a member, always a member! If you are a current member of Sunmark, regardless of where you live, work, worship or go to school, you will continue to enjoy the same exceptional service and benefits of membership at Sunmark as always.
Why do you want to change your charter? We changed our charter to be able to offer beneficial and affordable financial cooperative services to more individuals and businesses in New York and other states where we have select-employer group relationships. Changing our charter solidifies our commitment to serving our members and potential members for the foreseeable future. The opportunity provides long-term financial well-being and security to Sunmark, provides current and potential members increased access to our products and services and helps reduce expenses over time by creating efficiencies through economies of scale.
Will you be adding branches in the new counties? We will certainly be studying our options to add locations going forward and will share that information with you as it develops. But in the meantime, Sunmark has very sophisticated and convenient electronic services such as Sunmark Online Banking, Sunmark Mobile Banking, Sunmark Bill Pay, Direct and Remote Deposit and many others to meet the needs of all members.
I own a business. Can I open business accounts and get a business loan from you? Yes, you are eligible to open a business account and be considered for a member business loan. Sunmark has a wide array of member-business loan products and member-business services.
Are any of my accounts or services going to change? No. If you are an existing member none of your accounts or services will be changed. You will not need to make any changes to any of your accounts or the services you use at Sunmark.
If I am currently a member and I move out of the covered County geographic area, can I still be a member? Yes, remember, once a member, always a member if your account stays open and active!
Can my family members still join if they live outside of the Counties or don’t work at one of the employer groups? Yes, immediate family members of a current Sunmark member can join Sunmark, even if they live outside of the counties listed. Immediate family members include spouses, parents, children, siblings, stepchildren, grandparents and anyone living in the same household and maintaining a single economic unit.
Will the credit union’s name be changing? Yes, however, the only change to our name will be omitting “Federal”. Our name is now Sunmark Credit Union.
What does this conversion mean to you? As a member of Sunmark Credit Union you will see NO difference in the services we offer. Those services will continue. We pledge to continue providing you with the same excellent service you have come to know and expect from Sunmark. Please tell your friends, family and neighbors to join Sunmark and experience the credit union difference.