The Story Behind the Change
The story behind the decision to change our name is not a short one. In fact, it goes back to 2009 when we changed to a community charter, which meant that membership qualifications were now based on where someone lived, worked, worshipped, attended school or volunteered. No longer was membership eligibility dependent on being associated with Weber State University – such as student, alumni, staff or faculty – which was the original qualification for membership back when the credit union was formed in 1957. Unfortunately, in 2009 the economy was suffering from the Great Recession, and it was decided that a rebrand would likely be seen as a merger or acquisition. However, as the years have passed, the rebrand idea has persisted and come to the forefront.
In mid-2017, the Management Team took our first formal steps toward a rebrand by studying the equity of the Weber State Credit Union brand. Specifically, we wanted to know if our current brand and name was inhibiting our ability to grow; did potential members know they could join the credit union?
To determine how strong the university-credit union connection was, we surveyed members and potential members in our local communities. We suspected that the name was restrictive, but we needed to verify that.
Through our research, it was found that a high percentage of respondents thought one had to be affiliated with the univeristy to join the credit union, which hasn’t been the case for more than a decade.
After careful thought and consideration by the Management Team and the Board of Directors, it was determined that a new name and brand would best serve the credit union’s future growth and allow us to gain a stronger foothold in our four-county field of membership.
We want to bring new products and services to our community, and a less restrictive name opens us up to help a lot more people.
The next step in our journey was to find a unique name that would allow us to grow in our communities and that represents what our true purpose is – to inspire upward financial success, and to help our members achieve their dreams.
We conducted more research with several top name choices and “Ascent” stood out as the top performer.
For many, the name Weber State Credit Union has been synonymous with friendly, caring, and trustworthy service. To pay homage to those guiding principles, the new logo combines elements of typography and color that emphasize the credit union’s friendly and family-like culture.
As part of the new brand, we have taken our guiding principles and developed five brand pillars to help us strengthen our culture. We promise to be helpful, approachable, dependable, trustworthy and compassionate.
In this time of change, we want our members to know that we are the same credit union you have come to know and love. Our management and staff remain the same. Our mission of helping members achieve their dreams is not changing. Our decision to make a name change, as difficult as it was, is to allow us to continue to serve our members and communities on an even larger scale for the next 60 years.
The credit union will officially become Ascent Federal Credit Union on May 1, 2020 when the new brand image debuts on our website, in online banking, and at all locations. The new branding vision will also be integrated into our new Syracuse Branch, opening in summer 2020.
Questions You May Have
Why are we changing the name?
The management team and Board of Directors felt that it was time to choose a name that better reflected our relationship with all our members. The new name represents what our true purpose is – to inspire upward financial success. The new name will help us share the same, and even new benefits, to more people.
Is the credit union moving away from its affiliation with Weber State University?
Not at all! We are proud of our history with the university. It was these pioneering individuals who helped establish our credit union in 1957. Far from being a move away from our roots, this change is in reality a proactive step towards becoming a better financial institution. As the times have changed, so has our evolving membership base. While university members will always be a vital part of that base, we must acknowledge that our community charter now allows us to serve an expanded group of people (anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Weber, Davis, Morgan, and Box Elder counties) as well as the immediate family of existing members. Our new name is more inclusive of this expanded membership base.
Is the credit union financially strong?
The credit union’s net worth ratio exceeds regulatory requirements and is considered “well capitalized” by government regulators. The credit union continues to have a strong balance sheet, a full-service product offering and a dynamic member base. WSCU has been recognized by Callahan & Associates as a 5 star financial institution and has ranked in the top 1.5% of credit unions in our asset size for Member Value.
How will members benefit from the name change?
Ascent Credit Union is a new name but comes with our established commitment to member service excellence. Rates on deposits and loans will remain competitive. Our growth and increased resources will allow us to serve our members even better. The new name is more reflective of our expanded field of membership and represents a dynamic and vibrant introduction to our credit union and its products and services. Over the coming year, we expect to release new services for business, a branch in Syracuse, and more.
What is the estimated timeline?
The name of the credit union will officially be updated May 1, 2020. After this point, you will see signs, forms, brochures, and the like be switched over with the updated name and logo. Don’t be alarmed if it takes a few weeks for all signage and items to be updated.
Will my accounts continued to be insured?
Absolutely, your accounts will continue to be federally insured just as they are today through the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, which is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government and managed by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).
Will my account number change?
No. Your account number will remain unchanged.
Will the routing number change?
We will retain our current routing number. Members with automated payments, direct deposit or other electronic transfers that use the routing number will not have to make any updates.
Will my current products and services and the terms of my existing accounts change?
None of your accounts will change.
Will my online and mobile banking change?
No. You will continue to use the same login credentials to access online and mobile banking.
Will my debit and/or credit card still work?
Yes. Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) will remain the same. Your old cards eventually will be replaced with new cards displaying our new name and logo.
What about my recurring transactions?
Direct Deposits, ACH, payments, checks, and recurring debit card transactions will continue to work as they do now.
Will my loan payments change?
Your existing loan contract will remain in effect until the loan is paid in full.
Will my CDs change?
The terms of your existing share certificate will remain in effect until the maturity date.
How would members’ accounts and printed checks be impacted?
You can continue to use your Weber State Credit Union checks. When you run out of checks, your new ones will have the new name and logo.
Can I still use Shared Branching facilities?
Because all routing and account numbers will remain the same, so will shared branching. You will want to identify yourself as a member of Ascent Credit Union. Since some outlets may be slow to update their databases, they may still find us under “Weber State Credit Union” for a little while.
Will the website change?
Yes. As of May 1, 2020 the new website address will be www.ascentcu.com, however if you still use the domain www.ascentcu.com, you will be redirected to our new site.
Will the credit union be changing phone numbers or email addresses for staff?
All phone numbers will remain the same. We’ll have new email addresses @ascentcu.com but emails addressed to @weberstatecu.com addresses will be forwarded for a while.
What if I have additional questions?
We are here to answer all your questions! For answers to questions, please email us at email@example.com or call us at 801-399-9728 or toll-free at 888-978-9728. We will also update the website with a FAQ page as the process continues.