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History & Mission

Brief History

GTE Financial’s history began in the Bay area. Through the Great Depression and now into better economic times, GTE has remained steadfast in our mission to be the financial cooperative members can always count on. Going beyond money, we’ve been putting personal prosperity over corporate profits since 1935. We’re here to lend, support and help individuals and businesses in our community reach their financial dreams.


Our mission is to be the preferred financial services provider and employer in our marketplace.

GTE Financial exists because of and for our members and we’ll never lose sight of that.


Our vision is that members always experience the best value and service with complete confidence.

Historical Timeline


1901 - Peninsular Telephone Company located in Florida is formed. The future employees of this company would form the Peninsula Telephone Employees and Credit Union.

1934-1935 - GT&E buys Peninsula Telephone Company.

1935 - Charter Number 196 is granted by the National Credit Union Administration to the employees of Peninsular Telephone Company. The credit union opens their main office located at 610 Morgan St., Tampa, Florida on March 4th, 1935.

1939 - Peninsula Telephone Employees Federal Credit Union becomes Peninsular Telephone Employees Federal Credit Union on June 26th, 1939.  


1958 - Peninsular Telephone Employees Federal Credit Union becomes GTE Federal Credit Union on May 20th, 1958 and assets top $1 million.


1960 - George Hobar joins GTE Federal Credit Union and begins his 30-year career as CEO. He introduces the "Once a Member, Always a Member" concept and opens up a credit union membership to families of existing members.

1967 - New office built in downtown Tampa on Marion Street.

1969 - GTE Federal Credit Union becomes GT&E Federal Credit Union on January 7th, 1969.


1971 - GT&E Federal Credit Union switches back to GTE Federal Credit Union with assets at $36 million.

1974 - 40 years of service mark and a new branch opens in St. Petersburg.


1980s - GTE Federal Credit Union joins ATM networks.

1983 - Introduces Select Employee Groups (SEGs), now known as Community Partners.

1988 - Moves into an administrative complex with state-of-the-art data center on 711 S. Dale Mabry Highway.


    1990s - First credit union in Florida and second in the US to offer a successful debit card program. Introduces CU@Home, Bill Paying Systems as well as PC- and telephone-based account access

    1990 -  Wendell "Bucky" Sebastian joins GTE Federal Credit Union as president.

    1993 - Saturday hours introduced in six locations.

    1996 - First website introduced. Ranked 67th largest credit union in the U.S.

    1998 - GTE Federal Credit Union website introduces 24 hour web access.


    2000 - Member Services, Consumer Loans and Risk Management call centers along with Loan Support Services and Training move to new Operations Center on Columbus Avenue in Tampa.

    2005 - GTE Federal Credit Union moves their headquarters to the Tampa Heights section of Tampa, FL located at 711 East Henderson Ave. GTE Federal Credit Union becomes 30th largest US credit union.

    2007 - A core computer system conversion is launched to improve internal operational capabilities and provide members with better service.

    2009 - GTE Federal Credit Union launched its Facebook page.


    2011 - GTE Federal Credit Union’s exclusive Member Advantage Program is introduced.

    2012 - GTE Federal Credit Union becomes GTE Financial.

    2012 - Online Banking and gtefinancial.org are revamped.

    2013 - GTE Financial welcomes their 200,000th Member and introduces Deposit2GO.

    2014 - Opens second Member Care Call Center in Bradenton. Introduces Future Change app.

    2015 - Began offering instant issue debit cards.

    2016 - Brian Best is named GTE Financial's CEO.

    2017 - GTE Financial's brand new suite of Credit Cards launches.

    2017 - Members can now benefit from Go Points, GTE Financial's free loyalty rewards program.

    2018 - The Go Premium with GTE Secure account is introduced, better protecting membership and their families from ever-increasing fraud.

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