Old West Federal Credit Union Brings Financial Services to Union, Oregon

Union has lacked a local financial institution since banks left town in 2012.

5/21/2019

Old West Outside

Old West Federal Credit Union has opened a branch in Union, Oregon – the first financial institution the community has had since banks left in 2012.

Old West Federal Credit Union has new friends in Union, Oregon – a lot of them.

The Northeast Oregon-based, $172 million asset-sized credit union opened a branch in Union this month—a community that has not had a local bricks and mortar financial institution since Community Bank and Umpqua Bank left town years ago.

“The 2,000 people who live, farm, and own businesses here have been driving almost 30 miles round trip every time they need cash or need to make deposits,” said Ken Olson, Old West FCU President and CEO. “Now they have their own, local credit union. We’re so honored to bring financial services back to Main Street.”

He means that literally. The new branch is located at 539 Main Street. Old West purchased a former Community Bank branch building, remodeled it, and had a “soft launch” in early May. The grand opening isn’t until May 23, but Union residents and business owners are already welcoming their new credit union with open arms.

“In anticipation of Old West opening the branch here in Union, we opened several accounts at the LaGrande branch,” said Charlie Morden, owner of the Historic Union Hotel. “It really does make life easier for us.”

Wait. There’s More.

Old West Federal CU Inside

The community’s 2,000 residents have been traveling almost 30 miles round trip to make deposits or get cash.

With the opening in Union, Old West now serves more than 12,000 members through a network of eight branches.

In each of the communities they serve, the credit union gives each full-time employee eight hours per month to volunteer. Employees donated more than 900 hours to volunteer for community organizations in the first quarter of this year alone.

“Good things happen because great people like Old West team members are willing to get involved,” said Bob Kavanaugh, VP, Business Development and Member Engagement. “They’re living our Power of Community brand, day in and day out.”

Commitment to Rural Consumers

Old West’s commitment to Union is in alignment with the findings of an independent analysis by ECONorthwest, detailing Oregon credit unions’ $1.8 billion economic impact. The report, released early this year, documented how credit unions are financial services partners to consumers in communities large and small, and noted that credit unions are present in 31 of the state’s 36 counties. Across rural communities in Oregon, ECONorthwest found, 109,116 people belong to a credit union and benefit from credit unions presence in communities where out-of-state, for-profit financial institutions have closed branches.