If you have watched television over the last year, you are certain to have seen at least one ad for the Navy Federal Credit Union. Targeting active military members and veterans, it is a credit union (not a bank) that sells itself as giving preference to past and present members of the military and their families. Their ad campaign is above average in quality, making it appealing to people who are looking for a comrade connection through banking services. Here are 10 things you didn’t know about the Navy Federal Credit Union that have been cleverly hidden in their ad campaign.
1. Their computer systems got hacked only a few years ago.
While many companies get hacked these days, having a bank’s financial records available on the dark web or other sinister places can only spell trouble in ways most people cannot imagine. For example, active duty service members who are in Afghanistan can have their identities and those of their family circulated around the world. Civilians have their own set of problems, but active military is a completely different scenario.
2. They have acquired a poor reputation for home loans.
One of the most important benefits a military person earns is the opportunity to finance a home through the Veterans Administration, making the process simpler as well as shaving significant point off of the mortgage. Recently, veterans going through the home buying process at Navy Federal Credit Union have reported a combination of indifference and incompetence from credit union employees.
3. There have been reports of the credit union not properly reimbursing customers for fraudulent activities.
A number of long time customers have reported that amounts in the thousands of dollars have been fraudulently withdrawn from their accounts with the institution either issuing partial reimbursement or no reimbursement at all. This is likely to be connected to the data breach back in 2015.
4. Customer service quality is at an all-time low.
This may be due to the data breach, but customers consistently complain that the information required to access customer help over the phone has crossed the line and has become too personal. But that is a problem only after you wait more than 40 minutes to actually get through.
5. Beware of the number of fees that can drain your accounts.
From unauthorized withdrawals to delayed deposits, Navy Federal Credit Union has developed a reputation for collecting a lot of money for fees on free checking accounts. Many (former) customers state that the timeliness of transactions has a lot to be desired, resulting in losing hundreds of dollars in overdraft and other fees.
6. It is the world’s largest credit union.
Navy Federal Credit Union claims it has more than 8 million members around the world, employs more than 17,000 people, and has nearly $100 billion in total customer assets. Their branches are strategically located to provide the greatest convenience to members wherever in the world they happen to be.
7. It was ranked #42 for the Best Places to Work For by Fortune magazine.
It seems that though there are some unhappy customers, there are not many dissatisfied employees. Beyond the annual bonus earned by working 120 days in a calendar year, there are also maternity leave and 7 percent annual increases to be had.
8. It is one of the most diverse businesses in the United States.
A recent survey of Navy Federal Credit Union employees and management showed that 20 percent were African American, 11 percent Asian, and 9 percent Hispanic. This level of diversity has made the credit union one of the most recognized examples of diversity in the financial industry.
9. You have about a 1 in 10 chance of getting hired.
According to recently compiled data, there are 14,462 people who work around the world for the credit union. The number of job applicants for the same 12 month period was 130,258. Based on feedback from current employees, some keys to getting considered are dressing in professional attire and avoiding any kind of ear and nose piercings, as well as being tattoo free.
10. In 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) ordered the Navy Federal Credit Union to pay $23 million to customers along with a $5.5 million penalty as a result of its questionable debt collection activities.
Among the specific charges were blocking debit cards, ATM machines, and online accounts from being accessed by members. The credit union was oddly charged with threatening members to contact their military superiors about uncollected overdue debts. They also had intimidated a number of customers, using false threats to garnish their wages in the collection process.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker