Madison, WI – Feb. 15, 2022 – Governor Evers presented UW Credit Union with the 2021 Governor’s Financial Literacy Award today in a virtual ceremony. The credit union is among eight individuals and six organizations honored for providing exceptional financial literacy and capability education in an inclusive and
innovative manner. 2021 marks the fourth year that UW Credit Union has received this distinction.
UW Credit Union’s accelerated efforts to curb aggressive penalty charges and increase access to financial services helped to distinguish the Madison-based financial cooperative from its peers.
“Financial education should build on and respond to people’s individual strengths, circumstances, and needs in order to help them work toward their own unique goals,” said Gov. Evers. “The dedication of these individuals and organizations to help Wisconsinites become more financially secure and achieve their dreams is commendable and helps ensure not only the future success of individuals and families, but our entire state.”
UW Credit Union CEO Paul Kundert has been vocal about the long journey ahead for today’s financial institutions, reinforcing the organization’s pro-consumer position on sustainable banking. Last summer, the credit union cut its overdraft and nonsufficient funds fees by more than 80%, from $30 per occurrence to $5. The simplified policy was designed to create a meaningful reduction for members.
Through its partnership with Bank On of Greater Milwaukee, UW Credit Union seeks to improve access to safe, affordable banking processes and reduce the economic gap. Last fall, the credit union’s Clear Account was officially certified by the national Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund as meeting the Bank On National Account Standards (2021 – 2022). The Standards identify critical product features that ensure low cost, high functionality, and consumer safety for appropriate bank or credit union accounts.
“Accessible, equitable financial products paired with tailored education efforts enable UW Credit Union to fulfill its mission of improving the financial wellbeing of community members, said Erin Bykowski, Financial Inclusion and Education Manager at UW Credit Union. “I’m proud to work for an organization that puts people before profits to fuel financial independence. It’s an honor to be recognized by the state for a fourth year.”
Financial education remains a critical focus of UW Credit Union’s service offering. Two additional positions were created last year to bring education into new spaces and support those who have been underserved or excluded from financials in the past. The new Financial Inclusion and Education Manager and Financial Inclusion and Education Coordinator are working to deepen educational outreach within communities of color while also partnering with organizations that serve today’s youth and aging populations.
Recognizing the importance of relevant role models for its younger membership base, UW Credit Union works closely with brand ambassadors Jonathan Taylor and Patrick Baldwin Jr. to build financial literacy on a peer-to-peer level.
About UW Credit Union
UW Credit Union is a growing, federally insured financial institution and a leading provider of a full range of financial services to University of Wisconsin communities. UW Credit Union’s more than 800 employees serve the financial needs of more than 300,000 members through world-class technology systems, and through a convenient network of 29 branch locations and over 100 ATMs. With assets exceeding $4.6 billion, UW Credit Union is ranked nationally among the leading credit unions. Founded 90 years ago by members of the University of Wisconsin faculty and staff, UW Credit Union continues to operate as a not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperative with locations in the Madison, Milwaukee, Stevens Point, Green Bay, Oshkosh, Whitewater and La Crosse areas.