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Billion Dollar Michigan Credit Unions to Merge.

Byline: Peter Strozniak

The $1.9 billion United Federal Credit Union in St. Joseph, Mich. said Tuesday it intends to merge into the $3.8 billion Lake Michigan Credit Union.

The proposed consolidation will make Lake Michigan CU the largest cooperative in the Great Lakes state and one of the top 20 credit unions by assets and members in the nation.

Sandy Jelinski, president/CEO of the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Lake Michigan CU, will serve as the president/CEO of the merged credit union. Gary Easterling, who announced his retirement in April, will remain involved during the transition, according to a joint prepared statement.

The combined financial institution will manage nearly $6 billion in assets and more than $8 billion in its mortgage servicing, operate 78 locations across seven states and employ 1,400 people.

In addition to Michigan, United FCU operates locations in Indiana, Arkansas, North Carolina, Nevada and Ohio.

The merged credit union will also serve a membership of more than 395,000.

Once merged, the combined organization said it does not anticipate any changes to staff, senior management or branch offices, according to the prepared statement.

Though the credit unions will retain their brands, there will be one slight change: United FCU will become United Credit Union because it will operate under Lake Michigan CU's state charter.

"We are very excited to merge with Lake Michigan Credit Union," Easterling said. "Both the UFCU board and LMCU board were unanimous in their approval of this merger. We view this as a tremendous opportunity for our employees and our members to combine with another great organization that will significantly expand our potential for mutual future success."

Pending state and federal regulatory approvals, the merger is expected to close at the end of the year.

"Our similar cultures and complementary geographies and service strengths make this combination a natural fit," Jelinski said. "Both of our organizations are dedicated to delivering the very best to our members, and we are proud to continue our support of important events in our communities."

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Publication:Credit Union Times
Date:Oct 14, 2015
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