Valley Credit Union to merge with WESTconsin
Posted: May 30, 2014
Members of Chippewa Falls-based Valley Credit Union last week approved a merger with WESTconsin Credit Union at Valley's 60th annual meeting. The merger is expected to be completed by the end of 2014 after final regulatory approval and conversion of Valley member accounts to WESTconsin's systems.
"We have done our best to maintain our identity and independence in the enormous arena of the banking industry. We thought it would be best to take a proactive approach to continue to serve our members through a partnership with a credit union with similar values to our own. WESTconsin is that partner," said Valley Credit Union President Timm Smith, who will remain as branch manager of the Chippewa Falls office once the merger is complete.
Valley Credit Union, which was established in October, 1953, as Northern Colony Credit Union, serves 4,446 members and had $28.5 million in assets and a capital ratio of 12.53 percent at the end of 2013. As the credit union grew, land was acquired at the corner of Park Avenue and Seymour Cray Boulevard and the current building was constructed in 1984 as the name was changed to Valley Credit Union.
"Anytime two healthy credit unions decide to merge, the state credit union office takes a hands-off approach. Their operations and ours parallel one another," said Smith, who added that the deal awaits federal regulatory approval from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), which is expected by late fall.
According to Smith, Valley Credit Union has never been approached by other credit unions to merge their operation, however he and the Valley board felt it was the right time to consider a partnership.
"Because of the compliance issues and things taking place in the market, we were going to have to find a bigger player," he said.
WESTconsin Credit Union Chief Executive Officer Greg Lentz said his organization is excited to provide additional services to Valley Credit Union members and expand his credit union's reach to a new market.
"This partnership is a great fit for both organizations. We look forward to being an active part of the Chippewa Falls community," he said.
WESTconsin Credit Union, which has been serving members since 1939, is open to anyone who lives or works in the Wisconsin counties of Barron, Burnett, Chippewa, Clark, Dunn, Eau Claire, Jackson, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Rusk, St. Croix, Sawyer, Taylor, Trempealeau, and Washburn, as well as eight counties in Minnesota.