Citadel Federal Credit Union open second area location
WEST NORRITON— Don’t go looking for Citadel Audubon’s dynamic looking new branch office near Chickie’s and Pete’s Crab House and Sports Bar, Audubon Ale House, the old Audubon Inn that is now a law office, or any other prominent spot in Audubon.
That’s because even though one of the area’s most powerful credit unions is using Audubon as a geographical benchmark for its second Montgomery County outpost, the branch is not actually in Audubon, but in Jeffersonville, West Norriton.
You may have already marveled at the spiffy stone-faced structure with the distinctive red roof, sprucing up the once drab corner at West Main Street and Trooper Road, right next to the new Wawa.
“I know some people refer to this area as Jeffersonville and some as Trooper, but we were given an Audubon mailing address and we use Citadel Audubon on our website,” explained spokesperson Yvonne Wright. “We’ve been communicating that we’re at the corner of Trooper Road and Ridge Pike. I know it’s a twomile distance from Audubon, and it’s the Audubon exit off of Route 422 that will essentially take you to Audubon. The name Audubon will attract people not only from this area, but also Collegeville and places like that.”
The Exton, Chester County-based credit union with a foundation built on steel as a savings and loan venture for steel mill workers in the 1930s first made inroads into Montgomery County last November, with a branch at the corner of Swede Road and Germantown Pike in East Norriton.
While that debut insinuated itself into an existing vacant building that had once housed Citicorp and a string of other financial institutions, the West Norriton Citadel takes full advantage of a fresh-from-the-groundup approach, offering a more unequivocal appreciation of the signature Citadel look, rising up side-by-side with the long-awaited Wawa.
“This building is more of the traditional feel for Citadel, with the aesthet- ics of the red roof and the stone,” Wright said. “The branches that we build from the ground up will have more of this modern look.”
Having Wawa as a next door neighbor was just an added bonus, noted Steve Miller, vice president of retail delivery.
“Wawa wasn’t the predominant reason we chose this location. We already had a strong membership base in this community, with a lot of people who work here but live in Chester County, so it made sense for us to make it more convenient for our members by putting in another location,” Miller said, adding that a Pottstown branch was set to open next month. “With all the new offices we’ve been building, people start to recognize it as a Citadel long before we even have signs out.”
The West Norriton location offers something else not found at East Norriton, or at any other Citadel branch at the moment: Express Banking Machines, situated inside the bank and duly harmonized with the exterior ATMs as well.
“We have two Express Banking Machines for customers to conduct their own transactions for depositing multiple checks and cash or transferring funds. It gives you the ability to see your entire account profile, essentially,” explained branch manager Fallon Maloney. “The ATM machines outside also run on the new technology, as opposed to the traditional ATM machines.”
West Norriton was chosen to test drive the concept, Miller allowed.
“We will see how successful it is, how members adapt to it and get feedback from them to see how we will distribute them,” he said. “One of the nice things about it is that if you’re struggling to get to a location before we close, you now have the added flexibility to make loan payments after hours.”
From its humble roots in a little tin box taking deposits and providing loans for Lukens Steel workers at the tail end of the Great Depression, Citadel Federal Credit Union has grown to 19 branches in Chester, Montgomery and Delaware counties, with one due to open in Bucks County next year.
“As the story goes, a couple of steel mill guys in 1937 decided every week they’d put a dollar in a tin box and if somebody needed a small loan to help them they’d agree to borrow it and pay it back,” said Citadel President and CEO Jeff March at the launching of the East Norriton branch. “From that small tin box we’ve gotten to where we are today, to $2 billion in assets.”
Through Oct. 15, new checking account customers at Citadel Audubon will earn up to $200 in Visa gift cards, with a minimum $100 deposit.
Every Citadel account includes a debit card, online banking, mobile banking, eStatements, check copies and more, with personal attention, minus the fees of other banks, Wright said.
“We offer consistently higher rates on deposits, lower rates on loans, honest and fair fees, all delivered with outstanding customer service. Our expansion into Montgomery County is further testament to our customers that we’re committed to providing the very best value, both in terms of the low cost of banking and the convenience of having Citadel branches where customers live and work.”
Follow Gary Puleo on Twitter@Mustangman48.
Marketing manager Fallon Maloney shows Steve Miller how to use Citadel’s Express Banking Machine inside the new Citadel Bank in West Norriton.