The short version of our history can be summed up in one simple sentence—people serving people. It’s who we are. It’s what we do.
For the long version we have to go back to 1953, the year we first opened our doors. It was a year that started with Harry Truman in the Oval Office and Joseph Stalin ruling the USSR in Moscow. If you’re like some of our youngest members (Jessie, age 8, whose mom recently opened a savings account for her) that might as well be “ancient times.” If you’re a little bit older (like most of us) you probably recognize that’s quite a legacy.
Much has changed since then and the South Bay Credit Union has evolved along with the community we serve. When we opened for business in the early 1950s, we were known as Centinela-South Bay Credit Union and our members were largely employees of Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach and their families. Over the years we continued to grow and expand, mostly in the public sector— to include local school districts, police and fire departments and other organizations across the South Bay. In 1993 we changed our name to South Bay Credit Union because we felt it better reflected our home and our heritage.
Several years later in 1998, we merged with Palos Verdes Schools Federal Credit Union (PVSFCU—yes that’s quite an acronym!). PVSFCU began in 1961 and had its own rich 37 year heritage of serving the Palos Verdes school district and its employees. Our merger with PVSFCU created our second branch and expanded our ability to better serve a larger portion of the South Bay. It was also the year that former PVPUSD teachers Jerry Gaines and Perry Lynn joined SBCU as volunteers. Almost 20 years later, we are proud to say that both Jerry and Perry are still part of our member-run organization. Our last major organizational evolution took place on February 28th, 2002 when we officially changed our charter and became the community-based credit union our members know and love today.
After well over 60 years of service, you might think we were ready to take a breather but that’s just not how we operate. Like the community we serve, we will never stop evolving and changing. We will always continue our long tradition of constantly seeking ways to serve you better.
People serving people. It’s who we are. It’s who we’ll always be.