Latest News

Keeping you updated on what’s happening at SF Fire Credit Union.


Rules and Regulations: Protecting Members from Elder Financial Abuse

In the “Rules and Regulations” series, we’re hoping to inform members of the regulatory reporting that we’re required to follow in order to comply with banking regulations. This article, we’re addressing elder financial abuse.

What is elder abuse?

When we talk about elder abuse as it relates to the credit union, we are referring to the financial abuse of an elder (any person residing in California who is 65 years of age or older) or dependent adult (anyone between the ages of 18 and 64 who has physical or mental limitations that restrict their ability to carry out normal activities or to protect their rights). Financial abuse is generally the taking of real or personal property for wrongful use, or assisting in doing so.

Unfortunately, the perpetrators most often include family members, specifically spouses, children or grandchildren. Other perpetrators may include individuals who seek out vulnerable seniors with the intent of exploiting them.

Change in Deposit Insurance Coverage

SF Fire Credit Union made changes to our deposit insurance effective April 1st, with the coverage provided by American Share Insurance (ASI) decreasing from $500,000 to $250,000 per deposit account.

Our previous coverage of $500,000 per individual account had been a combination of two deposit insurance policies offered by ASI. It included Primary Share Insurance on deposit accounts up to $250,000 as well as Supplemental Share Insurance on deposit accounts from $250,001 to $500,000.

New Deposit Insurance Coverage

Our Supplemental Share Insurance has been discontinued, and our deposit insurance now
consists solely of ASI’s Primary Share Insurance of up to $250,000 per individual account.
We made this decision based on our belief that ASI’s Primary Share Insurance can provide full deposit insurance coverage for our members, with the Supplemental Share Insurance being an unnecessary operational expense for the credit union.

Apple Pay Available March 17, 2015

We’re excited to announce that starting March 17th members will be able to make payments with their SF Fire Credit Union debit or credit cards through Apple PayTM!

Apple Pay allows a person to pay at stores and within other apps by placing their finger on their iOS device’s Touch ID button. It’s currently available on Apple’s iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and iPad Mini 3 models.


We’ve compiled a list of FAQs to help get you better acquainted, or to help with troubleshooting any issues you may run into. If you don’t find the answer to your question, please feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to help you.

Money Smarts: Assets and Liabilities

You may often hear talk about assets and liabilities, whether it’s on a television show about money, the internet or in books. What are assets and liabilities and how might they impact you and your financial health? Let’s take a look:

Assets: Assets are anything of value that you own. Examples of assets include: cash, funds in savings accounts (CDs, money market, IRAs), valuables (like jewelry or antiques), vehicles that you own outright and real estate (the current market value of the property, even if you still have a mortgage).

Liabilities: A liability is anything that you owe to someone. Although we mentioned above that real estate counts as an asset, the amount you owe on that property falls under the liabilities category. Other examples of liabilities include: credit card debt, student loans, vehicle loans, etc.

Understanding what your assets and liabilities are can help you to grasp your full financial picture, and help with calculating your net worth. Your net worth is your assets minus your liabilities.

Net worth = Assets – Liabilities

Reminder: Calling Within the 415 Area Code

We’d like to remind members that if you are calling our local number (415) 674-4800 from within the 415 area code, that you will need to dial 1+ the full 10 digit number if calling from a land line, or if calling from a mobile phone, dial the full 10 digit number.

For more information on this change, please refer to the Public Utilities Commission’s announcement:

Refresh Your Portfolio with a Financial Check-Up

Do you own investments that you’ve held for years? Are you fuzzy on the objective of the funds and how they have performed relative to their benchmarks? Has it been a while since anyone has taken time to review and analyze your holdings? If this sounds like you, the New Year presents an opportunity to conduct a portfolio check-up with our CFS* Financial Advisors. We employ tools to help analyze our members’ fund positions.

Rebalance to Avoid Unnecessary Risk

Rebalancing can be a crucial element in helping to reduce risk while ensuring a portfolio remains aligned with an investor’s intended investment plan. Over time, the asset mix in a portfolio can begin to drift from its original allocation – this is especially true during periods of extreme volatility. If an asset class performs well for an extended period of time, it can grow to become a higher percentage of a portfolio and subsequently have a much higher impact on the intended overall risk and return of the portfolio going forward.

Message from the President - Ringing in the New Year

On behalf of all of us at SF Fire Credit Union, I hope a wonderful holiday season was had by all. It can be such a busy time of year, brimming with plans to spend time with families, friends, and loved ones. But despite this, what our members continue to demonstrate year-after-year is an unwavering support of our efforts to raise funds for the SF Firefighters Toy Program. Thank you so much for your donations, which totaled over $15,000 this season and will benefit a program which is the oldest of its kind in the United States and helps over 40,000 children a year.

The year we leave behind was a good one for SF Fire Credit Union. The Bay Area’s economy is well into its recovery, certainly in regards to the jobs and real estate markets. The credit union’s financial performance remained strong, with steady growth and continued profitability. Our capital reserves now stand at $79 million, helping to ensure we’ll be here to meet your financial services needs well into the future. We’re committed to providing an exceptional service experience, and worked hard to become a better credit union. Our Real Estate program was completely revised, and now offers members a streamlined and communicative process. We believe knowledge is empowering, and expanded our educational seminar topics to include investing, healthcare, real estate, car buying, and credit scores. Protecting your accounts from fraudulent activity is a priority, so we made it possible to load travel notifications for your debit and credit cards within online and mobile banking. Time is valuable, and you should to be able to do business based on your schedule, not ours. We understand this, and expanded the appointment making tool on our website to include new membership, new accounts, consumer loans, real estate, investments, business services, and notary public. Recognizing the increasing use of mobile phones and tablet devices to browse the internet, we launched a new public website which is more informative and easier to read on screens both big and small. And finally, we completed the remodel of our California Street location. The Main Branch expanded the areas designated for real estate and business lending, which we feel was necessary to provide members with a better service experience.

Chip-enabled Credit Cards Coming in May 2015

SF Fire Credit Union will be implementing chip technology into our credit cards beginning in May 2015. Our new credit cards will feature a microchip in addition to the magnetic stripe that is currently used by merchants when you perform transactions at terminals.

Chip cards will improve the security and global usability of your card, and we will begin issuing them to replace expiring cards starting in May. By the end of 2015, all SF Fire Credit Union Visa Credit Cards will be replaced with new chip-enabled cards.

Chip cards contain encrypted information that make it difficult for the card to be counterfeited. At merchants that use chip terminals, the card and terminal work together to add an additional layer of security to the transaction.

Now Accepting Donations for SF Firefighters Toy Program

The SF Firefighters Toy Program distributes toys seasonally to over 40,000 kids in need and responds on a year-round basis to children and families in crisis. They are the oldest volunteer-run program of their kind in the nation and rely solely on donations.

Help Us Raise $20,000 for the SF Firefighters Toy Program

There are many ways you can help support the Toy Program this holiday season:

  • Donate in Online Banking, in one of our branches, or over the phone
  • Bring unwrapped toys to one of our branches, or to any San Francisco firehouse

For more information, login to Online Banking or call us at (888) 499-FIRE (3473).

Annual Employee Bake Sale on December 17th

Cookies, cupcakes and other sugary items baked by staff will be available for sale at our California Street branch on December 17th. Please drop by to pick up some goodies and support a terrific cause.