Kern Federal Credit Union (KFCU) is changing its name and will officially become Strata Credit Union on February 1, 2019 on the date of its 70th anniversary. The name change comes in an effort to eliminate years of name confusion in the marketplace, to prepare the organization for future growth and kick off a year-long 70th anniversary celebration.
"We are very excited about our new name and the future of our credit union," said KFCU CEO, Brandon Ivie. This change is one of many steps we are taking to position the credit union for sustained, healthy growth for the next 70 years and is not a result of a merger or acquisition. By selecting our new name, we have made an investment in our future and have eliminated confusion with other similarly-named financial institutions in the area. We believe “Strata” provides a foundation for growth in the years ahead."
"We chose the name Strata because it is distinctive, memorable, and suggests a smarter, more community-minded banking choice," said Jennifer Brucker, KFCU VP of Sales and Membership. "Like our membership and community, Strata are a foundation whose strength is composed of its many parts. Our new name will also feature the tagline 'for life’s priorities' to reflect our credit union's proactive service, better rates, lower fees, easy access to state-of-the-art banking technology, and culture of member advocacy."
name change is part of a larger plan to double the credit union’s assets over the next five years. A third branch is expected to open late 2019 in Southeast Bakersfield and is currently under construction.
"We've served Kern County employees and their families for nearly 70 years! We're tremendously proud of our legacy and we’re grateful to the community and our members for the years of trust and loyalty,” says Ivie. “We remain committed to providing all of our members with highly competitive and convenient financial products and services. This name change is a crucial part of that commitment moving forward.”
The name change will not affect the accounts of the 21,000+ members the Credit Union currently serves. It will be business as usual, only with a new name and look. Members are asked to continue to use their current KFCU checking accounts, credit cards and debit cards until they receive an updated version with the transition beginning in February, 2019.
About Kern Federal Credit Union (Strata Credit Union as of February 1, 2019):
Kern County Employees Federal Credit Union was established in February of 1949 by a small group of five county employees looking for a better way to save, borrow and invest their money.
Employees pooled their savings account funds together and used this capital to make loans to their co-workers. At the time, business was conducted on Saturdays or evenings after work, in the board chairman’s kitchen. Loan decisions were made based on a member’s career stability and income. The first “mobile branch” was the trunk of a Sheriff’s patrol car.
In 1979, the Credit Union had grown sufficiently to open a large modern branch at 1717 Truxtun Ave, the current site of its downtown branch and administrative center. In 1984, Kern County Employees Federal Credit Union officially changed its name to Kern Federal Credit Union to reflect a broader membership base that included immediate family members of County employees and employees of several other local businesses and government offices.
The mid-2000’s brought explosive growth. In 2005 changes to Federal regulations allowed KFCU to operate under a “community charter” meaning that anyone who lives, works, or attends an educational or religious institution within Kern County would be eligible for membership. This change offered much opportunity for KFCU and the community at large.