Expanding its Michigan footprint, the $1.9 billion Lake Michigan Credit Union of Grand Rapids is merging the troubled $62 million Citizens CU of Kalamazoo giving the CU an entry into the Kalamazoo market.
If approved by regulators and members, the planned merger would give Lake Michigan five branches in the Kalamazoo area. Lake Michigan currently has 28 offices in a 36-county area.
Roger Little, the state's deputy commissioner and head of the Credit Union Division, said the Citizens application to merge is a voluntary one but has been in the pipeline for months. The CU lost $1.9 million in 2009 and $149,000 in the first quarter.
A look at the financials, said Little, does show "the credit union has not been performing well." Documents filed with commissioner's office May 3 show Sandra Jelinski, president/CEO, of Lake Michigan, and Robert J. Goscicki, president/CEO of Citizens, seeking approval for the merger with a July 1 effective date.
Chartered in 1955, Citizens CU has been serving employees of the City of Kalamazoo and has a community charter covering Kalamazoo, Van Buren and Allegan Counties.
Lake Michigan Credit Union is the largest credit union in western Michigan with over 150,000 members.