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Greylock Federal Credit Union

Greylock Federal Credit Union has over $1.2 billion in assets, yet pays no state or federal taxes. Its net income or profit from January 1, 2006 - June 30, 2011 was $19.0 million. Thus it avoided paying over $6.6 million in income taxes for the last five and one half years. It now holds accumulated profits, otherwise known as retained earnings, totaling $92 million.

Its original “common bond” charter was issued in 1935 for Pittsfield G.E. Employees Credit Union (PGEECU) “for the purpose of assisting employees to save and to provide low-cost loans for provident purposes.” PGEECU began offering mortgages in the 1960s and in 1979 began to offer checking accounts. IRAs were introduced in 1982.

In 1994, as a result of the downsizing of General Electric Company, PGEECU changed its field of membership to include anyone who lives or works in Berkshire County. At this point, it also changed its name to Greylock. Subsequently, Greylock petitioned the NCUA to convert to a federally-chartered, community-based credit union and this charter became effective November 21, 1995 -- quite a metamorphosis.

Membership in Greylock Federal Credit Union is open to the following:

1) Anyone who lives or works in Berkshire County;
2) Anyone related to a current member by blood, adoption or marriage, is eligible to join Greylock, regardless of where she/he lives;
3) Unrelated persons who share a residence with a current member.

Where art thou common bond?

Greylock has 13 Massachusetts branch locations in the following towns: Adams, Great Barrington (2 including a loan office), Lee, North Adams, Pittsfield (7 offices) and Williamstown. It also has 18 ATM locations.

This credit union has experienced phenomenal growth. In the period from June of 1997 to June of 2011 membership increased by almost 70% from 41,543 to 70,590.



During the same time period of 6/97 – 6/11, total assets and total loans at Greylock have almost quadrupled.  Assets as of 6/11 are $1.2 billion and total loans are $1.0 billion.  Total deposits and shares also increased 285 percent from $287 million to $1.1 billion.

Greylock Assets

In addition to its growth in assets, deposits and loans, Greylock increased its amount of business loans outstanding from $1.9 million in 6/97 to $85.7 million in 6/11 -- quite an increase. Surely, commercial lending was never in the purview of the “common bond” status of this or any other credit union.

Many people have commented critically that credit unions have moved so far beyond their common bond mission that anyone with a pulse could become a member. Lo and behold, Greylock proved it by running a radio commercial that said exactly that. Click to hear.

To be, or not to be—taxed? That is the question.


Click to hear an excerpt from a Greylock ad.


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