BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. -- In a merger of equals, T&C Federal Credit Union and USA Credit Union, announced plans to form the fourth largest credit union in Michigan, Genisys Credit Union.
T&C has $611 million in assets with 65,000 members, and USA has $609 million in assets and 64,000 members. Genisys will total more than $1.2 billion in assets and will rank in the top 85 nationally in members and in the top 100 in assets.
USA CU President/CEO Mary McDonald said that talk of a merger between T&C and USA started over a year ago. McDonald will stay on as president for the transition but then retire in 2009. T&C President/CEO Dianne Addington will be chief executive officer of Genisys.
"We think the same way, we both know the importance of community," McDonald said. "We're both in the same county, we're close to each other and we're expanding charters and branches. We thought we shouldn't be competing when we can join together."
Both credit unions said that the merger has unanimous support from their boards of directors, but T&C members, as the merging credit union, will vote on the merger in August.
"Consolidation of two healthy credit unions is good business sense," Addington said. "Larger credit unions have significantly more attractive results in terms of asset growth, loan growth, members and return on assets. What makes our merger particularly exciting and what promises to make it successful is the shared values we both have in terms of our commitment to our members, our employees and our communities."
McDonald said that one of the driving forces behind mergers between large credit unions is competition.
"With the competitive force from banks we need to be as strong as we can," McDonald said. "Unless you grow you die essentially."
T&C currently has 11 branches in Oakland County and one in Ypsilanti. USA recently opened its eighth branch in Southeast Michigan.
"The merger was really about what we can do for our members," McDonald said. "Our members will go from eight branches to about 23 branches overnight."
Addington said that when considering the merger they found that they would be saving $1.5 million that could go toward members through building additional branches or lowering interest rates.
"We were both building about two branches a year, and now together we will be able to build five branches a year," Addington said. "Every penny you save is a penny you can give back to your members."
Addington said that one of the things she is most excited about is what Genisys will be able to do in the community. McDonald also said that community involvement is a big part of both credit unions, and one of the things they definitely want to continue to build upon.
"Individually we did a lot, but joined together we could do more," Addington said. "Both our staffs were involved in putting volunteer hours into the community."
As part of the merger agreement, McDonald, Addington and both credit union boards have promised their staffs that no jobs or benefits will be lost as a result of the merger.
"We both run very efficiently for size today," McDonald said. "When we join we will have approximately 300 employees and the typical staff for a credit union of that size is 360 people."
Addington said that they have been recruiting staff for the additional locations they intend to build and that the merger will provide team members the opportunity to take on and learn new skills.
Another fact that was considered in the merger was the name of the new credit union. The name Genisys represents the history of both credit unions. Gen coming from General Motors for T&C and isys comes from Burroughs/Unisys.
"We felt that the name should really reflect this history that we're both so proud of," Addington said.