South Sound credit unions announce $1 billion merger

The Northwest’s largest credit union merger is in the works as Twin County and Harborstone credit unions announced Friday their...

The Northwest’s largest credit union merger is in the works as Twin County and Harborstone credit unions announced Friday their intent to merge and form a new credit union. Assets of the new company would be approximately $1.07 billion, making it the third-largest credit union in the state and among the largest in the country.

“This is one of those rare opportunities in the credit union world where both credit unions are vibrant and growing, and have complimentary market areas,” said Marshall Ellison, TCCU president and CEO. “Both Harborstone and TCCU are highly rated based on their strength in capital, assets, management, earnings and liquidity.”

“This is in the best long-term interests for our credit unions and our members,” said Harborstone CEO and President Rick Schmidtke. “We have similar cultures and values. Coming together to create a new credit union will give our members access to even better rates, expanded services and more convenient branch locations than before.”

“Our goal is to combine the best practices of both credit unions into a great company,” Ellison said. The boards of both companies have approved the intent to merge and have named Schmidtke as CEO of the new, yet-to-be named credit union and Ellison as president and COO.

The merger will also create an enhanced resource for businesses in the South Sound and Southwest Washington. TCCU has more than 300 select employee groups and business partners. Harborstone has a significant presence in the business community offering business banking, business loans, employee benefits and special owner programs.

Twin County has 70,000 members, a call center and 14 branch locations in Thurston, Lewis, Grays Harbor, Clark and Pierce counties. Harborstone serves 50,000 members from 11 locations in Pierce and Thurston counties and an active call center. TCCU has 220 employees; Harborstone, 210.

Twin County and Harborstone have partnered in a number of programs in recent years. Both are co-founding owners of CU Dealer Direct – a service that provides auto loans at dealerships. They jointly own Financial Services Management Group (FSMG) which provides investment and insurance program management for credit union members. And in 2004, Twin and Harborstone jointly purchased Member Access Pacific (MAP) which provides credit and debit card processing services.

A small group of Olympia High School schoolteachers originally founded TCCU in 1938 under the name Thurston County Teachers Credit Union. Harborstone put down its roots in 1955 at McChord Air Force Base under the name McChord Credit Union.

Management teams from both credit unions will work with state regulators through the spring to further develop the merger plan that will go before Harborstone members for a vote this summer.

To learn more about the two credit unions, visit http://www.tccu.com and http://www.harborstone.com.

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