We are pleased to report that we met and overcame the challenges that 2020 brought, while continuing to achieve stable annual growth. As an essential business and local, not-for-profit credit union, we adjusted our business objectives, operations, and budgets in order to support the members we serve.
The year 2020 was unlike any other — and for Citadel Credit Union, the nation’s 63rd largest credit union, it brought monumental change; with the launch of a new brand identity and the third consecutive year of record annual asset growth. Citadel’s assets increased $544 million to $4.3 billion — a 14 percent increase. In addition to record deposit growth of 16 percent from the prior year, we saw record loan growth for our Real Estate division. Between 2000 and 2020, Citadel experienced a 20-year cumulative annualized growth rate (CAGR) of 13.4 percent. Over the past three years, our overall asset growth was $1.3 billion. Since 2005, we experienced our most significant growth — over $3.5 billion in assets, as we've expanded to serve the broader Greater Philadelphia region.
Pennsylvania, and specifically the Philadelphia area, was one of the most economically impacted areas in the nation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Shortly after the outbreak, Citadel prioritized serving members, and offered various assistance programs to alleviate some of their economic distress. We were one of the only financial institutions to automatically push back loan payment dates when the first economic impact of the pandemic began in March. For three months, we pushed all consumer loan due dates and waived fees, with no action required from members.
“Our goal is to be there for our members in challenging times; they depend on us as their financial institution. We automatically pushed back loan due dates to give them one less thing to worry about,” said Jeff March, president and CEO, Citadel. “The Loan Relief Program was designed to provide financial peace of mind for members as a result of the pandemic.”
—Jeff March, president & CEO
Hear From Our Members
“During this pandemic I didn’t have to request an extension. When I called I was informed most loans were given an automatic extension and no payments were due until May. That touched me personally, and made me feel like a human being during this time. Citadel did not have to offer the automatic extension. They showed compassion and I will never forget it.”
Ensuring members had access to our digital banking tools from home was paramount for Citadel in 2020.
Enhanced Digital Account Opening
In partnership with Terafina, Citadel rolled out a new online account opening platform to create seamless connections between our digital channels to our branch network and call center, and ultimately improve member experience. This partnership signified a strategic collaboration with the goal of sparking digital growth and large-scale community impact.
In 2020, Citadel was focused on improving and making digital banking tools easy to use and accessible for members. We updated the design and enhanced the user experience for several of our digital tools including our website, Home Loan servicing portal, Online & Mobile Banking, Card Control, and Citadel Express Banking. We also introduced new functionality and capabilities to our Online & Mobile Banking tools, including but not limited to:
Account Alerts — We introduced a new User Experience (UX) and expanded our Account Alert offerings.
Mobile Banking — We launched an Apple Watch App for Citadel Mobile Banking.
Member Incentive Automation — We automated incentive tracking and attribution through the use of promo codes and introduced the ability for members to track their incentive progress in Online & Mobile Banking, further streamlining the account opening process for members.
Loan Assistance Form — We created a new online form within Online & Mobile Banking, making it even easier for members to enroll in our Loan Assistance Program.
Following the onset of the pandemic, Citadel initiated a member educational campaign to inform members of the safety precautions and actions that were being taken. Our goal was to provide a safe place to bank, while not disrupting member experience. We created a dedicated area on our website for members to learn about the available resources and digital tools to help navigate their finances throughout the pandemic.
Citadel launched its new brand identity in August of 2020. It was our first rebrand in 15 years. As we experienced our most significant period of growth in our 80-year history, refreshing our brand was a major priority. Our goal was to align our identity with where we are headed as a local, not-for-profit credit union. Read the press release >
Logo, Tagline, Core Values, & Promise
Citadel introduced a new logo, color palette, and tagline, with a commitment to our members and the community of “Building Strength Together.” Our new promise and brand launched during an unprecedented period due to the pandemic, making the statement of “Building Strength” truly relevant.
Our New Core Values
Our core values explain what Citadel stands for and what’s important to us as a team. “We defined our values based on insights from senior leadership and many employees throughout our credit union,” said Margolit Hillsberg, chief human resources officer. “Our values also align well with our brand and how we want our members to understand Citadel.”
Our New Brand Promise
Branch & Digital Experience
The new Citadel brand was implemented across different platforms and channels in phases, starting immediately with our website and digital tools, which includes an improved online account opening process. Following the initial brand launch, we rolled out updated signage across all branch offices from August through November 2020.
New Contactless Card Suite
Starting early in the fourth quarter of 2020, Citadel sent new, rebranded contactless credit cards to members. Plans were made to roll out new contactless debit cards to members in the first quarter of 2021.
Building Strength in Our Community
Building a Future Without Childhood Cancer
Citadel is dedicated to helping the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) continue to not only achieve — but exceed — critical fundraising goals each year to create a future without childhood cancer. For the second consecutive year, Citadel was the presenting sponsor of the Parkway Run & Walk. Due to health concerns surrounding COVID-19, CHOP reimagined the event for 2020. Instead of gathering on Philadelphia’s famous parkway, participants gathered virtually to raise funds to support CHOP’s Cancer Center. As the event epitomizes our mission of Building Strength Together, we welcomed our members, employees, and their families to join the thousands of supporters across the country in a month-long virtual challenge. In total, the virtual event raised a record-breaking $1.7 million.
Parkway Closing Ceremony
The Closing Ceremony on September 27, 2020 included impactful stories, inspiring interviews and — most importantly — how everyone got active and rose to the challenge.
"Citadel's mission is to build strength in our community, and one of the most important ways we do that is by supporting CHOP Parkway Run & Walk. We are proud to support this incredibly successful fundraising endeavor that continues to surpass its goals to fight childhood cancer each year."
—Jeff March, president & CEO
Building Strength in Education
For the 19th consecutive year, Citadel recognized and awarded 15 local teachers with the Citadel Heart of Learning Award. In 2020, we received 2,700 nominations for teachers throughout Chester County and beyond. The award program honors teachers who show dedication to building strength in and outside of their classrooms.
2020 Citadel Heart of Learning Awards Ceremony
Mike Schnably and the Chester County Intermediate Unit’s George Fiore hosted a special livestream event on Citadel’s Facebook page to announce and celebrate the 2019-2020 Citadel Heart of Learning Award winners.
Executive Committee, Board of Directors, & Supervisory Committee
Executive Committee & Board of Directors
Citadel’s Supervisory Committee is composed of volunteer members who ensure that Citadel’s financial strength is fairly represented. The committee oversees the internal and external auditors who ensure the credit union is functioning within the guidelines and policies set forth by all regulatory institutions. As an organization, Citadel benefits from the diverse backgrounds of our Supervisory Committee members; we’re able to be more productive and make decisions in a sound manner.
The 2020 annual audit was completed by the accounting firm of Clifton Larson Allen. Citadel received an unqualified opinion which demonstrates that Citadel’s financial statements are presented fairly and free from material misstatement. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) also performed an annual examination and reported that Citadel is in good financial order and in compliance with federal regulations.
Keeping Our Members Safe & Secure
Citadel is committed to protecting our members’ data and personal information. As it remains a top priority, we analyze and enhance our processes and offerings to maintain the highest level of security within our products and services. We continually balance keeping data secure with providing an optimal member experience. We offer a breadth of tools and resources, including automatic fraud alerts and affordable identity theft protection services, so members can defend themselves and maintain financial security.
We’ve Only Just Begun — Moving Forward
At Citadel Credit Union, we are focused on serving those who work every day to build a better future for us all including our members, employees, and local communities. Our goal is to be accessible and convenient for members and to ultimately empower those who live and work in our community, so they can prosper. As we look forward to the future, we anticipate continued innovation, success, and growth. We’ll continue to operate with the philosophy of “people helping people,” and grow at a steady, healthy pace.
As part of our commitment to our core values, we will continue to invest in data and analytics in order to provide expert guidance, innovative tools, and a personalized member experience. In 2021, we will continue to invest in our products and services, with an emphasis on expanding our suite of digital banking tools.
With every decision, initiative, and investment, we aim to be a trusted partner for those we serve. As we grow, we are better positioned to reinvest back into the credit union. We exist to build strength together — and we’ve only just begun.
Detailed reports including Citadel’s Statement of Financial Condition, Statement of Income, and Statement of Cash Flow can be viewed and download below.