STCU Seeks Approval to Acquire Four Umpqua Bank Locations


STCU, based in Spokane, is seeking regulatory approval to convert four Umpqua Bank locations into STCU branches in Medical Lake, Ritzville, Coulee City, and Othello, Washington.

The deal, if approved, would give STCU its first locations in Adams and Grant counties, where it has existing members, bolstering its presence in the growing West Plains area of Spokane County.

It would also provide a convenient branch experience for existing STCU credit union members in rural communities while welcoming more than 5,000 Umpqua customers into the STCU family. Umpqua employees would be offered positions at the credit union.

“While STCU members increasingly are accessing their accounts through online banking and our mobile app, a visit to an STCU branch location remains foundational to the STCU experience,” said STCU President and CEO, Ezra Eckhardt.

Umpqua customers, too, are turning to digital tools with increased frequency. As part of its Human Digital Banking strategy, which leverages technology to empower deeper, more meaningful human connections with its customers in a digital environment, Umpqua is partnering with other financial institutions like STCU to continue providing a physical branch location in smaller communities. By working with STCU on the friendly acquisition, Umpqua helps ensure that none of the four communities is left without physical access to a financial institution.

“Customer preferences continue to change how we deliver banking services. What remains the same is our strong commitment to supporting local communities and partnering with others to ensure the financial needs of customers are covered,” said Brian Read, Umpqua’s Executive Vice President and Head of Retail Banking. “We’re really pleased that STCU has agreed to purchase these four locations and will continue serving customers locally.”

The acquisition is subject to approval by the FDIC, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions. STCU and Umpqua hope to complete the acquisition late this year, or in early 2021.

If the acquisition is approved, the new STCU members will find that their Umpqua accounts align well with similar accounts at the credit union.

“We will make this conversion as seamless as possible for Umpqua Bank customers,” Eckhart said. “Once approval is granted, they will receive all the information they need for a successful transition to the credit union.”

STCU and Umpqua share similar origin stories in their Northwest hometowns. STCU was founded in 1934 to serve Spokane schoolteachers; Umpqua was founded in 1953 to serve timber workers in Canyonville, Oregon.

The four Umpqua locations were Sterling Bank branches prior to Umpqua’s acquisition of Sterling in 2014. Eckhardt was president of Spokane-based Sterling, and became Chief Operating Officer at Umpqua after the merger. He assumed the role of STCU President and CEO on Jan. 1, 2018.

“Knowing these two organizations as I do, I am confident that the wellbeing of Umpqua customers and STCU members will be foremost on the minds of everyone involved in this project, along with the good of these four communities,” Eckhardt said. “We can’t wait to show our new members everything that makes STCU a great financial partner.”

Have a question or comment about this story? Please contact Dan Hansen, Communications and Media Manager, STCU.


Posted in Around the NW.