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BCU History

BCU HistoryWhere we began and where we are going.

In 1981, a group of executives in the healthcare industry elected to establish a credit union for the convenience and financial well being of the industry’s employees. Under the leadership of Rex Johnson, BCU’s first CEO, the fledgling credit union grew rapidly. In those early days, auto loans, checking and savings accounts were the extent of services available.

BCU, with its healthy growth and reputation of being a pioneer in the credit union industry, expanded offerings to include VISA® Credit Cards and Home Equity Loans (1985), BART audio response teller (1987), mortgages (1991), VISA Check Cards (1996), and Online Banking (1999).

Since 1994, with CEO Mike Valentine’s management and direction, membership expansion has flourished. The partnerships with Select Employee Groups, the merging of other credit unions, and the addition of a northern Illinois community charter have all contributed to BCU’s success.

Today, with over a billion dollars in total assets, BCU is one of the nation’s top 100 credit unions and the fourth largest in Illinois. BCU serves over 170,000 members and has service centers across the country and in Puerto Rico.

Visa® is a registered trademark of Visa.


  • 1981 BCU is created and appoints first CEO, Rex Johnson. Loans and direct deposit are introduced.
  • 1985 VISA Credit Cards and Home Equity Loans are made available
  • 1987 BCU’s first ATM is installed, and BCU automated response teller (BART) is offered.
  • 1991 BCU first starts issuing mortgages
  • 1994 Mike Valentine is named CEO, goes online, and 24/7 loan approvals begin
  • 1996 Members Financial Services brokerage services is introduced and BCU begins offering the VISA Check Card
  • 1999 Online Banking is offered, BCU reaches $500 Million in assets, and moves to their second headquarters location in Vernon Hills, IL
  • 2000 Credit card CURewards points introduced
  • 2006 BCU reaches $1 Billion in assets
  • 2007 BCU moves to their third headquarters in Vernon Hills