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History

75 Years of Service & Innovation

Founded in 1938 by a group of seven airline employees, Wings Financial has grown to become one of the nation’s largest credit unions – and the first dedicated exclusively to serving the men and women of the U.S. air transportation industry. While much has changed in our nearly 75 years of existence, our commitment to unsurpassed member service and superior financial products remains the same. Today, Wings is proud to serve employees from many companies in the aviation industry as well as the Twin Cities and Seattle/Tacoma metro areas.
 

  • 1938 - Charter for Northwest Airlines employee credit union signed on November 11. Loan interest rate was 1% per month (12% APR); share dividend rate, 5% per annum – considerably better than local bank rates.
  • 1945–1949 - World War II ends. Credit union assets grow by nearly 500%, fueled by returning military personnel and airline growth.
  • 1950s - Post-war prosperity.
  • 1950 - Assets grow to $575,275.
  • 1955 - Credit Union hires its first full-time paid general manager.
  • 1959 - Assets grow to $3.7 million, a 543% increase from a decade earlier.
  • 1960s - Celebrating milestones, expanding membership.
  • 1964 - The credit union celebrates its 25th anniversary. The charter is amended to include the spouse and blood relatives of regularly qualified members.
  • 1969 - Becomes the first credit union in MN to convert to an online computer system. Assets stand at $9.6 million.
  • 1970 - Federal deposit insurance (NCUSIF) added. Seattle office opens to serve growing number of members in area.
  • 1973-76 - New products and services added to meet member needs: Line of Credit, Certificates of Deposit, Cash Cards and Cash Dispensing Machine, Share Drafts/Checking Accounts.
  • 1975 - Charter amended to guarantee that once a member joins, he or she could retain membership for life, regardless of place of residence or employment – "Once a member, always a member."
  • 1979 - Assets at year-end valued at $46.5 million.
  • 1981 - Federal government passes the Financial Institution Deregulation Act, spawning a new era of financial competition.
  • 1981–86 - New products added – many of which were virtually unheard of in financial services at the time – Direct Deposit, Individual Retirement Accounts, 24-hour telephone Account Access, Home PC Banking, Visa Credit Cards, Home Equity Loans.
  • 1986 - Potential membership base doubles as Northwest acquires Republic Airlines.
  • 1987 - Offices opened in Detroit and Memphis.
  • 1989 - Assets reach $304 million.
  • 1993 - Electronic tax filing introduced, in-house first mortgages and investment services (offered through a subsidiary).
  • 1996 - AutoPerks discount auto buying service introduced.
  • 1997 - Web site launched.
  • 1997 - New offices open in Atlanta, Detroit, and Chisholm, MN.
  • 1999 - Ground-breaking at new headquarters building. Online internet banking introduced. Assets recorded at $766 million.
  • 2000 - New Apple Valley headquarters building opens.
  • 2001 - Credit Union attains $1 billion in assets.
  • 2003 - Credit Union celebrates its 65th anniversary while expanding its charter and becoming the country's first credit union to serve the entire air transportation industry. Adopts the name Wings Financial Federal Credit Union to appeal to the new expanded field of membership.
  • 2005 - New award-winning “hangar”-style branch opens in Eagan, MN.
  • 2006 - Credit union converts to new core data system to meet future expansion needs, upgrades internet and phone banking services. New hangar-style branch opens near Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport.
  • 2007 - Remote Deposit was introduced allowing members to deposit checks in CU Online and receive instant credit for funds.
  • 2008 - Wings opens a full-service branch office in Orlando, FL, in November. Wings ended 2008 surpassing the $2 billion asset mark, becoming the first Minnesota-based credit union to reach this milestone, and served 125,000 members nationwide.
  • 2009 - Wings opens new branch in Edina, Minnesota. Wings is approved to expand its field of membership to include residents of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area in addition to aviation employees.
  • 2010 - Wings announces mergers with St. Paul-based Highgrove Community Credit Union and Minneapolis-based City-County Federal Credit Union. Wings added a new branch in St. Paul as a result of the Highgrove merger. Wings gains approval to expand its Seattle field of membership to include residents of the Seattle-Tacoma area.
  • 2011 - Wings completes merger with City-County FCU. Membership reached nearly 200,000 with assets of $3.2 billion. Branch offices in the Twin Cities metro increased to 14.
  • 2013 - Wings celebrates 75 years as a credit union with 20 branch offices nationwide and assets over $3.8 billion.