ORLANDO, Fla. – The University of Central Florida has dumped Atlanta’s SunTrust Bank as its official campus bank and is replacing it with locally based Fairwinds CU.

Fairwinds has won a five-and-a-half year deal to be the "official banking partner” of the 60,000-student campus, making it the first credit union to hold that title in school history. Fairwinds is set to open in the former SunTrust branch on UCF's campus in January.

UCF said Fairwinds outbid its rivals, including some big banks and UCF's own credit union (UCF FCU), to land the high-profile marketing deal with the nation's second-largest public university. SunTrust's 10-year contract with UCF expired earlier this year, and the bank and school failed to come to terms on a renewal of the deal, UCF said.

Fairwinds' proposal for UCF included a menu of consumer-friendly services, such as free checking accounts, free money orders, financial-education seminars, and a service that lets students use their university identification cards as debit cards to make purchases.


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