The begining and the end of Taiwanese American Federal Credit Union by Mr. Cheng Chuang
HISTORY OF TFFCU
Cheng Y. Chuang
- Houston Formosan Club
In 1965, there were about twenty Taiwanese students pursuing advanced degrees at the Rice University and the University of Houston. Few years later，sixty Taiwanese families had settled down in Houston. Subsequently，the Houston Formosan Club was established in July 1970, mainly for the purpose of social gather and mutual assistance among members.
The Houston Formosan Club later became a chapter member of the National Taiwanese Association of America.
- Formation Of Texas Formosan Federal Credit Union (TFFCU)
More Taiwanese had constantly moved to Houston for better Job opportunities. The Taiwanese community had grown to a total of one hundred and fifty families by the fall of 1974. To foster a strenuous financial bond for the community, Mr. Cheng Y. Chuang (莊承業)had then submitted a proposal of forming a credit union to Mr. Chen Jung Lin (林振榮), The Club’s president as well as active dub members. Although the response from the Taiwanese communities were not so encouraging. However, Mr. Chuang had committed himself to carry out his plan. He had persistently studied the feasibility of organizing the credit union and published it in the Club’s newsletter. Meanwhile, he had contacted the Texas Credit Union League (TCUL) and invited ten enthusiastic members to serve on the Boards the Credit and the Supervisory Committees.
The first Taiwanese-owned credit union in the North America was finally born on April 30? 1975. The major chronicle events of that year are as shown below:
March 11: Application was submitted to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).
April 30: Charter was approved by the NCUA.
June 14: TFFCU was open for business .
- Early Struggles (1975-1982)
The total amount of deposits has only about $40,000 at the end of first year operation, however, the business had been steadily improving. Even then it took four and half years to reach half million dollars in assets. Then it came the financial dismay of 1980’s? the financial market had been flooded with lots of jumbo CD’s with sky-high interest. Fortunately, about forty loyal members had kept their savings deposits in the credit union. These collective efforts of all members had greatly contributed to lay the solid foundation of our credit union. A great appreciation should be given to Mrs. Li-Yu Chen(陳麗玉）for her dedicated services in this early stage. She had operated the credit union at her house until January 1982, TFFCU moved to the office at 11610 Fondren. At the end of 1982, the total assets had reached one million dollars. She had served as the office manager and treasurer from 1979 to 1985.
- Growth (1983-1989)
TFFCU started the checking account service in August 1985, and celebrated 10th anniversary on September 1 1985. The total assets reached three and half million dollars in December 1985.
In 1986, Mrs. Anne Lin (陳智英)was elected to serve as the office manager and treasurer, after Mrs. Li-Yu Chen’s family had moved to San Francisco. Under her devoted leadership, the assets of credit union have kept steadily growing. By the end of 1989, the total assets had climbed over to five million dollars.
- Challenge To Expand Loan Business (After 1990)
In February 1992, the credit union moved to 5885 Point West, the Taiwanese Community Center owned by the Taiwanese Heritage Society of Houston. Because of the convenience location, two million dollars in deposits were added to the assets in a single year.
The assets increased from five million in 1990 to nine million dollars in 1993, but the total loan amount only from two million dollars to three million dollars in the same period. The major challenge to the credit union nowadays is thus to promote loans to the members. Consequently, the credit union has taken the following steps to meet the challenge:
- Offering periodical programs with the interest bargains:
Home Improvement – March & April
Student Loan – June & July
New Car Loan – October & November
- Starting the Home Mortgage Loans in May, 1994
- Keeping in close contact with members.
- A Successful Institution
TFFCU has been in business for 20 years. With all combined efforts of members, officers and staffs, at the end of 1995, its total assets reached the milestone of ten million dollars, while the total loans accumulated more than four million dollars, TFFCU became a millionaire in January 1996. The success of our credit union has been attributed to three major factors:
- TFFCU has been fully supported by the Taiwanese community.
- All members of the Board, the Credit and the Supervisory Committees have worked together as a team to manage the credit union..
- All staffs have dedicated to serve members professionally.
- 社員人數嚴重的流失- 2003年社員1,598 ; 2013年縮減至1,207。
- 貨款的需求量減少- 2003年二百七十五萬元；2012年是十六萬五千元。
- 願意擔任理事的人意願降低 – 這是現實的問題。現任全部理事不再續任。
會議中最强烈，最爭議的話題是紅利分配不公平。根據「National Credit Union Administration」（NCUA)所訂的「Liquidation Policy」中明文規定，紅利的分配是根據理事會通過Liquidation議題時，當天(3/27日)社員的存款作為標準來計算。社員抗議的重點是為何紅利分配沒有考慮年資。理事會無法回答，只有依法行事。
2012年七月起，理事會開始討論停業程序，我非常小心，只要有朋友向我問起合作社的停業問題時，我絕對閉口不談，為什麼？萬一有社員暸解紅利的分配方法時，存入大筆的錢，這對其他社員會造成不公平。過去九個月，我的心綁得很緊，怕萬一出錯時，責任很重大，當然心理壓力也很大。所以開理事會議時，常常提醒其他理事，Liquidation是最高機密，不可外洩。有數據可以參考，2012年底社員的總存款是二千五百二十萬元，2013 年3月27日是二千三百六十萬元，存款減少。在本屆理事會充分合作下，我們做到了，相當可貴。到了 2013年初，理事會就密集開會，積極推動Liquidation有関的事務。三月初聘請到律師，做為Liquidation Agent，全面展開工作，就在三月二十七日月會時，理事會通過Liquidation議案。
參考資料2003 – 2013的數據：