Two Northwest Mergers Announced

Oregon Community Credit Union and Bi-Mart Federal Credit Union plan to merge on July 1, 2014. Both credit unions are based in Eugene.

Oregon Community is the second largest credit union in Oregon, with $1.2 billion in assets and over 111,000 members. Bi-Mart is a $6.9 million asset credit union serving 2300 members.

According to a news release issued this morning, Mandy Jones, CEO of Oregon Community, will lead the combined organization. “The partnership,” she says, “will offer Bi-Mart Credit Union members access to an expanded variety of product and service offerings, and is an opportunity for us to partner with an organization with like values.”

Chad Olney, Bi-Mart CEO, said the merger will give Bi-Mart members specifically the added convenience of more branches, remote services and surcharge-free ATMs. “We explored many options and a partnership with Oregon Community Credit Union was the best strategic decision for us, and also a great opportunity for our members,” Olney said.

The merger has been approved by the NCUA and Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services and Oregon state regulators. Bi-Mart members voted to approve the merger last month.

Also confirming merger plans are Central Washington University Federal Credit Union (CWUFCU) and WSECU. Current members of CWUFCU will automatically become WSECU members when the merger becomes effective, likely August 1, 2014.

CWUFCU has served the employees and retirees of Central Washington University since 1962, but with just over 400 members and declining loan and revenue growth, the board believed it was in the best interests of the members to seek a merger partner.

“We were seeking a credit union partner that had strong financial stability, a history of serving higher education employees and an outstanding reputation for member service,” noted Barbara Hodges, CWUFCU Board Chair.

They found that partner in WSECU — a $2 billion asset sized credit union operating 19 branches and serving about 200,000 members. WSECU was founded 57 years ago by Washington state government workers.

“We know it was a difficult decision for CWUFCU to make and we’re proud to have been selected as the merger partner,” said Doug Mah, WSECU’s Board Chair. “We think WSECU’s shared background of serving public employees is a great fit and we’re committed to providing the same friendly care and support that CWUFCU has provided to their members for so long.”

Currently CWUFCU’s services include deposits accounts and vehicle loans. With the merger, members will have access to an array of contemporary services including checking accounts, debit and credit cards, online banking, mortgage loans and investment services.

WSECU will open a new full service branch in Ellensburg once the merger is complete to ensure seamless banking services to CWUFCU members.

Questions about this story? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225, lheider@nwcua.org.

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