GTE Financial Headquarters in Tampa, FL

History & Mission

Learn more about us!

Founded in 1935 during the Great Depression, GTE Financial is one of the largest locally owned and operated financial institutions in the nation with convenient locations and free ATMs throughout Tampa Bay.

We are a not-for-profit financial cooperative. This means we make decisions for the benefit of all our customers, whom we call member-owners, because each one has a stake, or ownership, in our cooperative. GTE doesn’t make a profit just to turn it over to anonymous shareholders. The money we earn is returned to our “shareholders” – our members – in the form of higher dividends, lower rates, as well as new products and services.

Your money is well protected: funds deposited at GTE are covered by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). Not one member has lost a single penny of insured savings at this credit union!

Going beyond money, serving our community is just as important to us as delivering exceptional financial services. GTE and our employees contribute significant time and donations to meaningful charitable organizations and agencies throughout the neighborhoods we serve.

Not only can you join GTE Financial, your company can also apply to be a Community Partner Companies that become Community Partners can offer GTE member value as a no-cost employee benefit. This free program is a great way to give back to the people that make your business special! 

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Check out our timeline!

1900s

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.  

1950s

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

1960s

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.

1970s

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

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

1990s - First credit union in Florida and second in the US to offer a successful debit card program. Introduces [email protected], 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.

2000s

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.

2010s

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.