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Our History

  • Chartered in 1952 to serve approximately 2,000 member-owners 
  • Always committed to having our members' best interests at heart
  • Dedicated to helping you reach your financial goals
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  • History & Mission
  • H.R. 1151
  • Timeline
  • Truliant Federal Credit Union was chartered in 1952 to serve the employees of Western Electric and was known as Radio Shops Credit Union. It began serving about 2,000 members and offered credit union services in Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Burlington.

    In 1962, the name was changed to North Carolina Works Credit Union. Steady membership growth continued and increased to about 14,000 members by the end of the decade. In 1983, the name was changed again, to AT&T Family Federal Credit Union, accompanied by growth in services, with more mortgage loan services, Visa® credit cards, and checking accounts offered. By 1988 the credit union had 46,000 members. New Member Financial Centers were added in Virginia and North Carolina and the credit union began growing its presence in Charlotte.

    By the early 1990s, AT&T Family Federal Credit Union had 110,000 member-owners. New Member Financial Centers continued to accompany growth during this decade when the credit union launched its first website, and began to offer debit cards and online banking services.

    AT&T Family Federal played a key role in a monumental court case that ultimately resulted in the 1998 signing into law the Credit Union Membership Access Act (HR 1151), which expanded credit union membership nationally. This new law enabled credit unions to expand their charters to include additional occupational groups and community groups, people who lived, worked, worshiped or attended school in the community, to have access to credit union membership and benefits. The credit union then changed its name the next year and became Truliant Federal Credit Union to reflect this change. A tab at the top of this page provides additional details on this landmark credit union milestone.

    By 2000, with membership at about 163,000 members, Truliant continued to expand access to credit union services, opening branches in areas of South Carolina and Virginia. In 2004, Truliant merged with Victory Masonic Credit Union, the oldest historically African American credit union in North Carolina, and later opened branch for Victory members in a developing area of downtown Winston-Salem, N.C.

    In 2005, Truliant surpassed $1 billion in assets and opened its Truliant Way headquarters, where its administrative offices are located today.

    Truliant continues to innovate in the current decade. In 2010, Truliant began implementing new Small Business Administration programs and began offering No-Cost Credit Reviews to help members know their complete financial picture. In April 2011, the credit union launched its first mobile banking app for iPhone. More recently, the credit union began an intensive expansion of credit union services, adding a second branch in Burlington and a fifth branch Forsyth County in 2014. The credit union also announced plans to open ten Member Financial Centers in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region by the end of 2016, which will bring its total branch count to 33.

    A lot has changed throughout the years at Truliant Federal Credit Union. What hasn’t changed is our dedication to our members and our mission: to enhance the quality of life of our members and become their preferred financial institution.  Our promise to you is to always have your best interest at heart as we help you guide your future.

    Today, we serve more than 200,000 member-owners with assets over $2 billion. We have more than 30 Member Financial Centers who extend our valuable services to our members and more than 1,100 organizations located throughout North CarolinaSouth Carolina and Virginia.

    Our strength is in our commitment to always have our member's best interest at heart by providing the ease and convenience of innovative, automated services combined with the friendly, personal attention they expect and deserve. As a result, we offer a full array of financial services, including low-rate consumer loanshigh-yield savings programscommercial deposit and loan programs and many additional services.
     

    Truliant's Mission and Promise to You

    It's our mission to improve the quality of life for our member-owners and to be a financial partner that always has their best interest at heart as we help guide their financial future. We'll help members reach their financial goals by our singular dedication to understanding and satisfying their individual needs. Our goal is to establish and maintain a relationship with all member-owners based on mutual respect and trust while adhering to our core values of being democratic, accessible, reliable, progressively thinking and providing family-like service.

  • History of the Credit Union Membership Act, H.R. 1151

    “The struggle brought about by bankers’ attempt to limit the choice of consumers and employers has strengthened your member-owned credit union,” wrote Marc Schaefer, President and CEO of Truliant Federal Credit Union, in 1998, urging passage of H.R. 1151 in the U.S. Senate.

    On Friday, Aug. 7, 1998, then President Bill Clinton closed an eight-year struggle between bankers and the credit union movement by signing H.R. 1151 into law. It closed what may have ended in denying Americans a viable alternative to financial services from banks.


    Truliant Federal Credit Union, then known as AT&T Family Federal Credit Union, was at the forefront, first as a defendant, and later leading a grassroots political fight to ensure consumers would continue to have their choice of financial institution.

    The struggle would take Truliant through courtrooms, Congress, the Supreme Court, the Capitol and eventually, to the White House.

    It started in 1990 when the American Bankers Association, or ABA, a powerful banking industry lobbying group, and several North Carolina banks filed a lawsuit contesting a decision by the National Credit Union Administration, or NCUA, the federal regulator of credit unions.

    The NCUA had approved a membership expansion for AT&T Family Federal Credit Union in Asheboro, allowing it to serve small employee groups not related to the telecommunications giant.

    Since 1934, federal credit unions in the United States were defined as groups tied together by a single common bond of occupation or association, or by residence within a certain geographic area. Truliant, for example, was originally created to serve employees of Western Electric. In 1982, the NCUA began permitting credit unions to be composed of multiple unrelated employer groups.

    The bankers sued, contending that AT&T Family Federal’s membership expansion was wrong and said the NCUA had violated the Federal Credit Union Act.

    The case was heard before a Washington, D.C. District Court in September 1994. It ruled that the NCUA's policy of permitting multiple groups in one field of membership was a correct interpretation of the Federal Credit Union Act, furthering Congress' intent to encourage credit union growth.

    The decision was appealed by the bankers. In July 1996, the U.S. Court of Appeals D.C. Circuit overturned the District Court decision and ruled that all members of a federal credit union must share one common bond. The Court of Appeals ordered the district court to apply its decision to AT&T Family Federal Credit Union. The bankers filed a separate suit asking the district court for a nationwide injunction and to have the decision applied to all federally chartered credit unions with multiple groups.

    The ruling meant federal credit unions would no longer be able to add new groups to their fields of membership.

    The AT&T Family Federal case was consolidated with others from the ABA. In February 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would issue a decision on the case, which would come the next year. Meanwhile, in an attempt to protect access of credit unions, the Credit Union Membership Access Act, H.R. 1151, was introduced to Congress in March 1997 to allow multiple common bonds.

    On February 25, 1998, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that favored the banking industry’s interpretation of the Federal Credit Union Act: that federal credit unions may not consist of more than one occupational group having a single common bond. This ruling could have resulted in millions federal credit union members being forced to leave their credit unions.

    H.R. 1151, however, was already working its way through Congress to help prevent this.

    In April 1998, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1151, but the bill still needed to pass the U.S. Senate. With momentum behind them, AT&T Family Federal helped lead and organize a nationwide grassroots effort to pass the legislation. On July 14, 1998, over six thousand credit union supporters assembled in Washington, D.C. and the Capitol, chanting “1151” to urge the bill’s passage.

    The bill passed the U.S. Senate on July 28, 1998 and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. More than just establishing the right to add employee groups, the law codified the eligibility of family and household members, and the NCUA to define community fields of membership.


    The grassroots effort to pass H.R. 1151 was a concerted effort by the entire credit union movement. Even while banks outspent credit unions by margin of 14 to 1 during the fight to pass H.R. 1151, the fight ultimately strengthened credit unions as a political force to be reckoned with in Washington, D.C. 

  • Timeline

     
    1952
    • Radio Shops Credit Union Chartered
    • Membership: 2,336
    • Service offered in Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Burlington
     
    1962
    • Name changed to North Carolina Works Credit Union
    • Membership: 8,200
     
    1969
    • Membership increases to 14,000
    • Assets total more than $27 Million
     
    1973
    • Branch added at AT&T Facility in Richmond, Va.
     
    1981
    • Membership exceeds 18,000
     
    1983
    •  Name changed to AT&T Family Federal Credit Union 
    1985
    • Radford, Va. branch opened
     
    1986
    • First Mortgage Loans offered to members
     
    1987
    • New branches open in Charlotte and Greensboro, N.C.
    • First Select Employee Group joins the Credit Union
     
    1988
    • McAdenville, N.C. branch opens
     
    1990
    • Membership more than 60,000
    • Over 80 Select Employee Groups
     
    1991
    • Asheboro, N.C. branch opens
     
    1993
    • Moved into new Administrative office in Winston-Salem, NC
    • Duke Power branch opened in Charlotte
    • New branches open in Greenville, S.C.
     
    1995
    • Wytheville, Va. branch opens
    •  Full time Burlington branch opens
     
    1996
    • Website introduced
     
    1997
    • Home Banking internet service offered to membership 
    1998
    • Credit Union Membership Access Act (HR 1151) is signed after significant
      grassroots efforts by Truliant members and volunteers
    1999
    • Name changed to Truliant Federal Credit Union 
    • New high-tech branch opens in Greensboro, N.C.
     
    2000
    • Serving over 370 Select Employee Groups
    • Assets approach $750 million
    • Membership: 163,000
     
    2002
    • Celebrates 50th Anniversary
     
    2003
    • Opened a new branch in Clemmons, N.C.
    • Serving underserved areas in S.C. and Va.
     
    2004
    • New branch opens in Mebane, N.C.
     
    2005
    • Moved to new administrative office in Winston-Salem located at Truliant Way
    • Truliant surpasses $1 billion in assets 
    • New branch opens in High Point, N.C.
     
    2006   
    • Truliant committed to keeping VISA credit card program in-house
     
    2007    
    • Opened a new branch in Kernersville, N.C. 
    • As part of earlier merger with Victory Masonic Credit Union, Truliant opens a branch in
      a developing area of downtown Winston-Salem, N.C.

    2008
    • New branch opens in on South Elm-Eugene Street in Greensboro, N.C. 

    2010
    • Truliant implements Small Business Administration (SBA) micro and 7a programs 
    • Truliant opens its first student-run credit union at East Forsyth High School in Kernersville, N.C.

    2011
    • Assets approach $1.5 billion
     
    2012    
    • Celebrates 60th Anniversary
    • Truliant serves over 900 employers and their employees
     
    2014
    • Truliant opens second Burlington branch location, a new Winston-Salem location,
      plus three Charlotte locations
    • Membership Exceeds 191,000

    2015
    • Truliant opens four new Member Financial Centers in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Region