BIZNOTE: Verity Credit Union moving into West Seattle Junction’s ex-Radio Shack space

(WSB photo)

For almost 10 years, Verity Credit Union has been on the verge of opening a West Seattle branch. And next year, they really will.

That’s what CEO John Zmolek told WSB this morning. We talked with him after contacting Verity to confirm that it’s taking over the storefront in the West Seattle Junction recently vacated by Radio Shack (4505 California SW).

Yes, right next door to another financial institution (Chase). Isn’t that a little unusual? we asked. Zmolek agrees it is, while saying, “in some ways we think it just contrasts the difference between what banks do and what credit unions can do in a community.” Such as, because credit unions are co-ops, they “keep the money in the community” rather than “siphoning off part of their funds to go to stockholders.”

Verity will be the third credit union to open a new location in West Seattle – all in The Junction (after BECU at The Whittaker [WSB sponsor] and Sound CU at 4730 California) – in xxx. With so much banking happening online, why even open a physical branch? Zmolek says he believes people are still more comfortable making financial decisions – especially major ones like buying a home and investing – after talking with reps face to face. Zmolek says it will also help Verity keep in closer touch with the community rather than “guessing from an ivory tower … or my office.”

As also seems to be a new trend, this branch will not be the traditional stand-in-line-at-a-window. Verity’s forthcoming announcement says it “will feature member service consultants who are untethered from bulky desks and teller lines to serve members from anywhere in the branch with wireless tablets.” The Ballard and Greenwood branches are currently set up that way.

The CEO also says they hope to offer the branch space for community gathering, maybe even opening it – without staff – during the Farmers’ Market, with a front wall that can be “folded back.”

Meantime, the branch will have an ATM (Verity belongs to the Co-Op network, serving members of many other credit unions). Due to the city’s permit-process backlog, they’re not expecting to be able to start work on the space until next spring, opening the branch next summer.

–Tracy Record, West Seattle Blog editor

21 Replies to "BIZNOTE: Verity Credit Union moving into West Seattle Junction's ex-Radio Shack space"

  • Dan November 1, 2017 (2:35 pm)

    This is awesome!  I love this credit union and am excited to have them add to the neighborhood!!!

  • BH November 1, 2017 (5:59 pm)

    I’m very excited, was sad when the one downtown closed. 

  • WS November 1, 2017 (6:37 pm)

    Just what we need another bank

    • WS November 1, 2017 (8:50 pm)

      Ok thats 5 financial institutions in the junction just sayin 

      • WSB November 1, 2017 (8:57 pm)

        Actually Verity will be the 9th (if nothing else moves in before then!). In The Junction currently:

        HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor)
        Bank of America
        BECU
        Sound CU
        Chase
        Wells Fargo
        US Bank
        KeyBank

        • redblack November 3, 2017 (6:06 am)

          you forgot washington federal!

          • WSB November 3, 2017 (7:08 am)

            No, didn’t forget it. Debated including it on the list but we tend to draw The Junction’s north line at Genesee.

  • Dereck November 1, 2017 (6:51 pm)

    I’ve seen 3 or 4 on one block back in new york

  • Wb November 1, 2017 (7:01 pm)

    Not a bank. A credit union. 

  • Frank November 1, 2017 (10:36 pm)

    Lovely, just what we need, another non local business….and a “bank” at that.  That makes our junction that much more boring and regular.  Nothing special to see here anymore.

    • WSB November 1, 2017 (11:05 pm)

      What? Yes, this is a local business. Based in Seattle. Replacing a national chain.
      History on this page: https://www.veritycu.com/about-us/careers/who-we-are.html

    • Dan November 1, 2017 (11:44 pm)

      Founded in operated out of Seattle since 1933.  Not-for-profit financial institution that is currently headquartered in Northgate.  It also employs several West Seattleites in it’s upper ranks.  You might be a little off in your critisism…..

  • andy November 2, 2017 (8:37 am)

    I needed Radio Shack.

    • Robert November 2, 2017 (10:14 pm)

      Congrats you’re the first person to say that since 1998!

  • Heidi Cleveland November 2, 2017 (12:10 pm)

    As a credit union and financial cooperative, Verity’s vision is to help create cooperative communities who dream boldly.  We’re a community institution, first and foremost, and look forward to this location being more than a branch, but also a gathering space for residents, artists, and non-profits. We’re driven by our commitment to community and putting people first, before the bottom line.  In fact, Verity is one of only 46 institutions world-wide to join the Global Alliance for Banking on Values.  But those are just words. We look forward to DEMONSTRATING to our West Seattle neighbors in tangible ways what makes us different and invite you to hold us accountable for living up to our values.  Please spend two minutes finding out what makes values-based banks and credit unions different.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeHR5fGDQrY
    #bankingonvalues

     

     

     

     

     

  • WS Resident November 2, 2017 (12:54 pm)

    Another bank/credit union is not going to draw people to the mall.  Its nice that its a locally owned institution but how about a good bar or restaurant.  Westwood reminds be of a bland suburban mall, just a vast parking lot with unmemorable shops.  Just my option.  

    • WSB November 2, 2017 (1:47 pm)

      This is going into the West Seattle Junction (see headline and story and picture, plus the address), not Westwood Village. WWV had a Radio Shack store too but that’s been converted already into a Sprint store.

      • WS Resident November 2, 2017 (2:44 pm)

        My mistake, I forget there are 2 Radio Shacks in WS.

  • Sigh November 3, 2017 (11:52 am)

    At least it won’t be another badly needed nail salon.

  • ws November 5, 2017 (11:33 am)

    too many banks. ugh.. 

  • Gail November 5, 2017 (4:10 pm)

      Farewell Radioshack. How I loved thee.

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