Keesler Federal Credit Union recently opened a new branch in Ridgeland on Lake Harbour Drive.
Keesler Federal Credit Union recently opened a new branch in Ridgeland on Lake Harbour Drive.
RIDGELAND – Keesler Federal Credit Union recently opened its new location on Lake Harbour Drive here and is the first of three that will open in the coming months as the credit union expands its footprint to all three counties in the metro Jackson market.

The Lake Harbour location will offer both banking and mortgage lending services, and branch amenities will include a greeter’s station to assist customers as they enter, a technology desk, coffee bar and a children’s’ activity area. An official grand opening ceremony will be held at a later date.

Keesler Federal will open a Flowood location in early December at the corner of Old Fannin Road and Lakeland Drive. A Madison branch, a stand-alone facility on Highway 463 across from Academy Sports, is scheduled to begin operations first quarter 2019.

Keesler Federal already had locations at the Junction on I-55 North and in the MDOT Building in downtown Jackson. 

“The response we have received in the metro Jackson area has been overwhelming,” said Andy Swoger, Keesler Federal CEO. “We want to go where there is a need, and our members’ feedback and research indicate there is a need. 

“The fundamental difference between a credit union and a bank is that banks have shareholders,” Swoger continued. "Often the object is to increase the wealth of the shareholder, and that might have nothing to do with the customers.”

Datatrac – an independent, national research firm that monitors deposit and loan rates, fees and product features – has recognized Keesler Federal with the Datatrac Great Rate Award for its auto loan, saving deposit and certificate rates. The auto loans were up to 47 percent lower than the Jackson metro average, saving deposit rates up to 58 percent higher and certificates up to 85 percent more.

“Whether it’s our lending or deposit rates, we are consistently the best in our markets,” Swoger said. “More importantly, we look for a way to say yes to our members. We believe in our members and will exhaust every option available to help them. And it’s very easy to qualify for membership.

“We do whatever it takes to exceed member expectations,” he said. “We are not here to meet their expectations. We are here to exceed our members’ expectations in every aspect. Period. Without our members we don’t exist."

Earlier this year, Forbes magazine honored Keesler Federal as one of “America’s Best In State Credit Unions” in its inaugural ranking of the industry.

Keesler Federal has experienced tremendous growth over the last two years, as total loans grew 31 percent, the total amount of new loans 40 percent and the branch network 21 percent. This year Keesler Federal expects to exceed $1 billion in new loans for the first time in company history.

Simultaneously it has reduced risk and its capital position of almost $400 million is more than double the required reserved amount to be a well-capitalized institution per its regulatory agency (NCUA). 

With assets of $2.5 billion, Keesler Federal is a not-for-profit, member-owned cooperative, the largest credit union in the state. Founded in 1947 to provide banking service to Keesler Air Force Base employees, it now has more than 31 locations, including branches in the Jackson, Hattiesburg and New Orleans markets as well as the Coast. Membership exceeds 216,000. 

The Ridgeland branch is located at 733 Lake Harbor Drive, next to Newk’s restaurant. The walk-in location will operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.