What You Need to Know About Navy Federal's Takeover of Community Bank

The Navy Federal Credit Union mascot takes a photo with runners.
The Navy Federal Credit Union mascot takes a photo with runners during the Marine Corps Marathon Kids Run at Long Bridge Park in Arlington, Virginia, Oct. 29, 2022. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Christopher D. Zincke)

Navy Federal Credit Union has received the contract to manage the Department of Defense's overseas Community Banks. It will take over the contract from Bank of America in the spring of 2024. While this should have no direct impact on the services of DoD Community Banks, customers may see some small changes here and there. No action is required on the part of any Community Bank customer.

What Is Community Bank?

The Department of Defense operates Community Bank through the Overseas Military Banking Program. Under this program, a contracted U.S. financial institution operates DoD-authorized banks. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service, or DFAS, manages the Community Bank contract in conjunction with military representatives.

DoD Community Banks provide 60 banks and 275 ATMs in 10 countries throughout Europe and the Pacific region. DoD Community Bank locations offer traditional banking, plus country-specific products and services. This makes it easier for installation commands, organizations and individual customers to manage money in local currency, including paying bills directly. Customers can maintain both U.S. dollar and local currency accounts at the same institution, which helps reduce some of the financial challenges of living outside of the United States.

What Is Navy Federal Credit Union?

Navy Federal Credit Union is the world's largest credit union, serving all Department of Defense and Coast Guard active-duty members, veterans, civilians, contractors and their families. It is member-owned and not for profit. Navy Federal has more than 350 branches around the world.

Will My Accounts Stay with Bank of America?

No. While Bank of America has managed the DoD Community Bank program, your accounts are actually with Community Bank. Your Community Bank accounts will remain with Community Bank.

Do I Need to Join Navy Federal?

No. While Navy Federal will be managing the DoD Community Bank, being a Navy Federal member will not mean you are a customer of DoD Community Bank, and being a customer of Community Bank will not mean you are a Navy Federal member.

It's possible that you may have two Navy Federal-run financial institutions on your installation -- one Navy Federal and one DoD Community Bank. But they will remain separate entities.

When Is This Happening?

The transition period has already begun, and full implementation of the transition is expected to happen in the spring. Navy Federal then has a one-year contract, with eight one-year options.

Will My Banking Information Change?

No. Your DoD Community Bank account numbers and other information will not change. Automatic transfers and direct deposits should be unaffected. DoD Community Bank will continue to operate as usual.

You may see changed logos and branding, as the program will officially be known as "Community Bank, operated by Navy Federal Credit Union."

I'm So Confused!

If this seems confusing, think about it like a change of ownership at your local Subway sandwich shop. If the old shop owner sells the business to a new shop owner, it still remains a Subway sandwich shop. Your loyalty program points are still the same, and it takes the same coupons. The name on the back end changes, but your experience buying a sandwich is exactly the same.

The transition of DoD Community Bank management from Bank of America to Navy Federal should not require any action on your part, and operations should continue uninterrupted and unchanged. But you will be seeing Navy Federal's name on your Community Bank building and materials, so don't be surprised -- or worried!

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