The planned $4.6 billion merger of First Tech Credit Union of Oregon and Addison Avenue FCU of California, representing the largest CU consolidation in history, is on course to receive member and regulatory approval, according to First Tech management.
For weeks, the two CUs have engaged in a well-organized communications blitz in online forums, Webinars and town halls to familiarize members in both states with details of the proposed combination.
"The next phase of our communications program is a June voter guide, kind of a refresher to members to explain the merger," said Deborah Colby, vice president of marketing at First Tech of Beaverton whose 165,000 members spread across the U.S. must approve the merger with Addison as it takes on the federal charter.
So far the sessions with an estimated 200 participants have gone very well, said Colby, with some First Tech members voicing worries on a CU blog about loss of autonomy and service under a merger as management seeks to allay concerns.
The First Tech membership meeting to act on the merger will be scheduled, said Colby, "after we get the regulatory approval, and we are hopeful that will come this summer."
Both CUs have a high tech membership with First Tech holding strong market penetration in Portland and Seattle. Addison Avenue of Palo Alto, Calif. has a broad California footprint in the Silicon Valley and in the Northwest. Once approved, First Tech CU, as the merged credit union will be known, will have 38 branches and 320,000 members nationwide, making it the 15th largest in the U.S.
A spokesman for Addison Avenue said it too has engaged in both online and an in-person educational campaign on the merger and conducting employee Q&A sessions as well as a series of Webinars.