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Our History

Turning growth into member benefits

Boy learning to ride his bike
Where we've been and
where we're going

Our story began in 1981, when a group of executives at Baxter decided to establish a new credit union for the convenience and financial well-being of their employees. In the beginning, we only offered checking and savings accounts, along with auto loans.

From these modest beginnings, our credit union quickly grew to $500 million in assets in 1999 and then to more than $2 billion in assets and approximately 200,000 members today. Since our early days, we've been a pioneer in the credit union industry, being among the first to offer ATMs, online banking, remote deposit and other technological advancements.

Today, we're one of the nation's top 100 credit unions and the fourth largest in Illinois. BCU is also the fastest growing credit union chartered in the past 30 years. Despite this expansion, we still hold individual member satisfaction as the greatest measure of our success.


  • 1981 - Employees at Baxter create BCU
  • 1985 - Visa® credit cards and home equity loans are first offered
  • 1987 - ATMs and BART, our telephone teller, begin operation
  • 1991 - The initial mortgages are offered
  • 1994 - BCU.org goes online and 24/7 loan approvals begin
  • 1999 - Online banking goes live, the $500 million asset plateau is reached and, the second headquarters—in Vernon Hills, Illinois—opens its doors
  • 2006 - $1 Billion in assets achieved
  • 2007 - The current headquarters in Vernon Hills opens
  • 2014 - The $2 Billion in asset mark is crossed

Because the Credit Union's growth is channeled back into financially empowering members, BCU future is sure to be full of expanded opportunities and industry-pacing products and services.

The Credit Union Difference

Why It's Time to Take A New Look at Credit Unions - The term credit union may bring a specific image to mind, but is it accurate? Get the facts. With tools like Online Banking, mobile apps, and Deposit Anywhere, we're a pretty tech savvy bunch! We're not your parents' credit union!

10 Common Credit Union Myths - Credit unions have been helping members for decades, but they are still a mystery to many. Get the truth and bust some myths about credit unions' tax status and more.

7 Ways Credit Unions Are Better Than Banks - Only seven?! We know you can think of a lot more, but this is a great place to start. Have an eighth, ninth, or tenth reason? Share the love on our Facebook page.