The merger completed this month of a $47 million Eureka, Mo. credit union into the $628 million Vantage CU of St. Louis has worked out dandy for the financials, but it's another story when it comes to the computer conversion.
That was the message this week from Vantage management which discovered "it took four full time technicians when it might have taken just one" to make the operation switch on a system "that was more like a bank's than a credit union."
At issue was a data system at the Spirit of St. Louis CU in the far western suburb of Eureka which had been using a computer core that "uses different account numbers for every relationship" instead of a master code as run by the Vantage vendor, Users Inc. of Valley Forge, Pa.
"We also found out the Eureka system was undisciplined and lacked controls," said Eric Acree, Vantage executive vice president, declining to name the vendor.
As for the merger itself, "it's a real plus for us" in gaining a market foothold in the West County community, said Acree. Spirit of St. Louis with two branches and a participant in shared branching networks, was founded in 1933 by a group of employees from Kroger Food Stores in St. Louis. Spirit of St. Louis has 8,000 members. Vantage has 111,500.