ELLSWORTH — After a grand opening in early November, the new, local branch of the Bangor Federal Credit Union is now right at home in the Ellsworth Shopping Plaza next to Renys.
“The members that are coming in are really excited we’re in the Ellsworth and Hancock area,” Branch Manager Beth Jewell said. “We’ve been very well received.”
This is the credit union’s first Hancock County branch and serves existing and new members. Jewell said some members who live in Penobscot County work in Ellsworth and they welcome this new branch location.
“The opportunity presented itself, and we felt the time was right to establish a physical presence in Hancock County,” President and CEO Basil Closson said, noting BFCU serves people who live, work or worship in Penobscot, Hancock and Waldo counties. “We are extremely excited to now offer a full-service facility … to not only the existing members of Bangor Federal but to all individuals and business owners of Hancock County.”
As a community chartered federal credit union, Bangor Federal offers similar services as commercial banks: a range of savings, checking, IRA, health savings and money market accounts along with auto, home and commercial loans.
“The concept is the same,” Jewell said, except when an account holder walks in, staff sees a “member,” not a customer. And joining the BFCU means opening an account with a minimum of $5.
While Jewell spent decades with Camden National Bank, she said because federal credit unions are smaller they may offer a more personal touch.
“And sometimes members can get better rates,” she said. “Personally, what I’ve found is they look at each individual … I’ve done it both ways, they’re very similar, but I found that sometimes you can be in and out on a loan fairly quickly.”
Federal credit unions also offer “share” accounts that allow members to bank at any federal credit union that participates. So, a BCFU member can bank at say, Seaboard Federal Credit Union in Bucksport and vice versa.
BFCU lured Jewell out of retirement with “an opportunity that was a good fit,” she said. “I love working with the public and I love the Ellsworth area. And I love having a small company atmosphere.”
Bangor Federal Credit Union hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. for the lobby and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the drive-up window. Friday hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. for both, and the ATM is open 24 hours.