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ESL Owners’ Dividend:
Sharing Our Financial Success with Our Members

September, 2021

To our members:

1996 marked a monumental year for our organization. Not only did we officially become ESL Federal Credit Union through a change to our charter, but that year also marked our first Owners’ Dividend.

Over the course of 25 years, 26 payouts, and more than $185 million paid to our members, the ESL Owners’ Dividend continues to serve as the annual reminder that we would not be the company we are today without your trust and loyalty in us.

What started as an annual dividend payout has grown to become so much more.

At ESL, our purpose is to help our community thrive and prosper. We know that a stronger ESL can better serve Greater Rochester and a stronger, more resilient, and more equitable community is better for us at ESL. This symbiotic relationship between us and the community is vital to our collective futures.

We are in a fortunate situation at ESL where we do not have shareholders or investors we are beholden to. As a federal credit union, we answer to the numerous stakeholders who our actions impact and whose actions impact us. Our employees at ESL, you—our loyal members—businesses, community partners, vendor partners, community members, and more are all stakeholders whose best interests we keep close to heart. As a member-owned organization inspired by the cooperative principles, we work for the benefit and prosperity of the Greater Rochester community.

The funds paid to you through the Owners’ Dividend are an accumulation and culmination of a successful year. It is our way of making sure that we are sharing our financial success with those who impact it. When you make a deposit at ESL to build savings for the future, take out a mortgage with us to buy your dream home, secure a loan through us to grow your business, work with us to invest for retirement, or use an ESL debit or credit card to make an everyday purchase—these actions all contribute to something bigger than ourselves.

Together, through our products, services, and commitment to you, and through your loyalty and trust in us, the collective success between us is building a stronger Greater Rochester. Together, we’re establishing wellness and stability, we’re building homes, we’re creating and growing businesses, we’re lifting up neighborhoods—we’re helping our community.

At the end of every year, based on our performance, the Owners’ Dividend is ESL sharing our profits with you. Our payout for 2020 alone was $35 million across two distributions in June 2020 and January 2021. This was our largest payout ever, and as ESL grows, so too does the likelihood that the payouts could as well.

For a breakdown of how the payout works, the criteria consists of three major categories in order from the criteria that carries the most weight to the least weight on a dividend payout:

  1. Average account and loan balances
  2. Number of card transactions
  3. Wealth Management relationships

One final and crucial point to keep in mind about the Owners’ Dividend is that the criteria are continuously being evaluated by our teams at ESL. We are always looking for feedback about the Owners’ Dividend, so if you have any ideas or thoughts you’d like to share, please email us at, or you can call us at 585.336.1000. The Owners’ Dividend will continue to evolve thanks to your input.

As always, thank you for all you do to work with us on building a stronger Greater Rochester together.

Wishing you good health and much gratitude.

Tom Rogers
Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
ESL Federal Credit Union

Qualification for the Owners’ Dividend is subject to eligibility requirements. Payment of a Dividend is not guaranteed. The maximum Owners’ Dividend payout is $3,000.