Telephone workers in Phoenix, Arizona, at which time we were called Phoenix Telco Federal Credit Union, chartered the Credit Union in June 1937. In 1971, the name was changed from Phoenix Telco to Arizona Telco, a name that better described who we serviced. In 1982, we expanded our field of membership to include employees of Arizona Public Service (APS) and merged with another credit union in northwestern New Mexico. As we were diversifying our field of membership, we felt it was time to reflect this in our name. In 1986, our members were asked to submit names to better identify our servicing areas and companies, thus SunWest Federal Credit Union now replaced Arizona Telco Federal Credit Union. In 1988, SunWest Federal Credit Union merged with Fry's Employees Credit Union. This was done in an effort to continue to improve and enhance credit union services to employees of Fry's Food Stores.
On August 4, 2003, our request for a Community Charter was approved by the NCUA. Our Board of Directors approved this charter on August 11, 2003. Therefore, SunWest is now a Community Chartered Federal Credit Union. The new Community Charter means that we now serve all of Maricopa County; which includes persons who live, work, worship or attend school in, businesses and other legal entities in Maricopa County; their immediate family members; volunteers in the community; and members of record of SunWest Federal Credit Union as of August 11th, 2003 (date of conversion to Community Charter). We welcome all qualified members to the SunWest FCU family and we are always here to serve the most important asset we have - our members.
Most recently, SunWest Federal Credit Union has been approved by both the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and our Board of Directors, to once again serve our members, and potential members, in Tucson. Because of the NCUA Field of Membership rules at the time we were approved to serve Maricopa County, we were no longer able to serve our select employer groups, or those in Tucson. This new approval has changed all of that and we are pleased to regain our ability to serve those who live, work, worship, or attend school in Tucson. And, because of the renewed ability to serve our members in Tucson, we will be offering more products and services and anticipate the opening of an additional branch in the Tucson area.
SunWest is a non profit institution, where the members are the Credit Union's owners. Our Board of Directors is elected each year by the members of the Credit Union, and serve on a volunteer basis. The Board of Directors approves changes in policies, dividends, and loan rates, to help make SunWest one of the most competitive credit unions in the industry. In addition, like other federally chartered credit unions, member's shares are insured up to $250,000 by the NCUA (National Credit Union Administration), an agency of the federal government.