TEMPE, Ariz. -- After growth pushed the main office in El Segundo, Calif. to strain at the seams, Continental Federal Credit Union has moved its administrative office here.
In May, the $200 million credit union will mark the opening of its new headquarters along with a new branch in Tempe, which will be housed in the same complex, said Tom Glatt, president/CEO. Tempe is home to US Airways. Continental FCU has a separately branded membership with US Airways CU.
Continental FCU's El Segundo branch is currently located in a temporary facility until the permanent one opens in July. A new branch in Houston, home to Continental Airlines, is also scheduled to open later this year.
"It turned out to be a good move. We've already signed up 75 more Continental Airline employees for membership," Glatt said.
Described as family friendly, the new branches are not built on airport grounds but are in close proximity, Glatt said. The greater accessibility makes it easier for members to gain entry without having to go through the required security checkpoints at the nation's airports, he added.
Continental FCU is on track with most of the initiatives launched over the past year, Glatt said. Membership is approaching the 27,000 mark. With a "loan program that has taken off," the credit union's loan-to-share ratio jumped considerably from 30-35% a year ago to nearly 80%, he added.
It's hard to believe that on April 17, 2007--a little over a year ago--NCUA put an end to the unprecedented merger bid from $1.8 billion Wings Financial FCU after the regulator ruled that the $200 payments the credit union had offered Continental FCU members should a merger go through were impermissible under the Federal Credit Union Act.
"The members are happy, the board is happy and our relationship with Continental [Airlines] is going very well," Glatt said.
Following last week's announcement from Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines on its merger plans, there
are now rumblings that Continental Airlines and United Airlines are entertaining discussions of a possible merger. In an April 15 press release, Larry Kellner, chairman/CEO of Continental Airlines, said the airline industry landscape is changing and the carrier "will review our strategic alternatives and make sure we remain a strong long-term competitor." United Airlines Corp. Chairman, President and CEO Glenn Tilton said the airline "will participate in consolidation when and if it is the right choice."
"I hope that Continental Airlines continues to operate as the independent, strong, successful airline it already is. They will do what is in the best interests of their stockholders and employees," Glatt said, adding if Continental decided to merge with another carrier, it will still present "significant growth opportunities" for Continental FCU.