As one entity, the credit union aimed to combine expertise and resources to achieve operational efficiencies and be better positioned to consider additional products and services, said Tom DeWitt, who is serving as president/CEO.
DeWitt said the vote from members to merge was "overwhelmingly positive" with a higher than 85% approval rating. All 12 credit unions have since completed combining their policies and procedures. While all are on the same data processor through Harland, it will take up to two years to get all systems on the same page, DeWitt said. The credit unions involved in the 12-way merger were State Farm California FCU, Bakersfield, Calif.; State Farm Central FCU, Columbia, Mo.; State Farm Florida FCU, Winter Haven, Fla.; State Farm Great Lakes FCU, Bloomington, Ill.; State Farm Great Western, Tempe, Ariz.; State Farm Heartland FCU, Lincoln, Neb.; State Farm Mid-America FCU, Newark, Ohio; State Farm Mid-Atlantic, Frederick, Md.; State Farm Northeast, Ballston Spa, NY; State Farm Pacific Northwest FCU, Dupont, Wash.; State Farm Southern FCU, Duluth, Ga.; and State Farm Texas FCU, Austin, Texas.
Besides providing nationwide access for members, DeWitt has said the merger will also eliminate individual credit unions having to do any restructuring to keep pace with region or zone realignments done by State Farm Insurance. The insurance giant has 25 operations centers and 12 zones in the United States and one in Canada. Several years ago, there were 26 State Farm FCUs, but company zone restructures reduced numbers down to the current 12 credit unions in the United States and one in Canada.
In July, DeWitt and State Farm Insurance Spokesman Fraser Engerman emphatically denied any plans that the credit union would merge with the $5 billion State Farm Bank. The day of the official merger, DeWitt continued to reiterate the two financial institutions would not merge. State Farm Bank opened in May 1999 after being granted a federal savings bank charter from the Office of Thrift Supervision on Nov. 12, 1998. Founded in 1922, the $50.2 billion insurance giant has more than 70,000 employees and 16,000 agents throughout the U.S. and parts of Canada. Employees of the credit unions are employees of State Farm Insurance.
The merger process officially began when NCUA received the application on March 1, after the board of directors of each respective State Farm credit union announced their intent to merge in January. By the end of July, members had received their packets to vote on the merger. --firstname.lastname@example.org