An Overview of Hawaiian Tel Federal Credit Union


"We are people helping people make their dreams come true".

In the aftermath of the S&L crisis of the 1980s, many people are turning a wary eye to their financial institutions. While consumers may not be tucking their life savings under the mattress as they did during the depression, most are concerned about the safety and accessibility of their deposits. They want to know who's running their financial institution. How soundly is it managed? Are their funds safe and can they access them if trouble develops? As the shake-out continues and bank mergers create large, faceless institutions, it's becoming more difficult for consumers to select a financial institution that can still provide personal service along with a full range of financial products.

Since its charter in 1936, the mission of Hawaiian Tel Federal Credit Union (HiTel FCU) has been to provide quality products with outstanding member service. HiTel FCU formed out of an idea from Mutual Telephone Company employees. On October 22, 1936, 65 employees signed on as charter members with assets totaling $2,517, calling themselves Mutelco Oahu Employees Federal Credit Union.

The credit union operated with no paid staff and early volunteers had to sandwich in credit union work with their regular jobs. In 1937, after the first full year of operation, a 6 percent dividend was declared. Two years later in 1939, the credit union expanded to include the Neighbor Islands and dropped the word Oahu from its name.

In 1954, the credit union changed its name to Hawaiian Tel Employees Federal Credit Union. In the following year, after 19 years of operation, the $1 million mark in assets was reached. By 1961, less than 6 years later, assets had risen to $2 million.

The Credit Union expanded services to five days a week in 1975. Share Draft accounts and Line of Credit loans were started in1980 and in 1981 the check disbursement system was augmented by the implementation of cash share withdrawals. This same year also saw the introduction of IRA accounts and Share Card ATM access. Assets were now up to $23.7 million.

During the 1980s, HiTel FCU continued to evolve into a full service provider by keeping quality member service its focal point. Services, products and programs were developed and implemented to meet the growing and changing needs of the membership.

In 1999, HiTel FCU changed its field of membership to serve Oahu's community and their families. HiTel FCU has over 400 Million in assets and over 36,000 members, making it the 6th largest credit union in Hawaii. HiTel FCU continues to be guided by its mission statement of, "We are people helping people make their dreams come true".