With the recent proposed merger announcement from $2.7 billion Wings Financial Community Credit Union and $41 million Highgrove Community Federal Credit Union, the pool of small credit unions just got a little smaller.
The merger has received preliminary approval by the NCUA and the Minnesota Department of Commerce, according to Wings Financial in Apple Valley, Minn. The two credit unions expect to combine operations over the coming months. Highgrove's single location in St. Paul, Minn. will remain open and will be remodeled to match Wings Financial's other branch locations in the Twin Cities. Highgrove serves nearly 8,600 members while Wings Financial has more than 126,000 members.
Founded in 1947 as the Ford Employees Federal Credit Union to serve employees of the Ford Assembly Plan in St. Paul, in the 1960's, its name was changed to Twin Cities Auto Employees Federal Credit Union to reflect its growing field of membership. The CU converted to a community-based institution in December 1992 and changed its name to Highgrove. Since then, the FOM has expanded a number of times, culminating in 2007 when it grew to include all of St. Paul.
"Wings got its start in St. Paul in 1938 and this merger represents a return to those roots," said Paul Parish, president /CEO of Wings Financial. "Even more importantly, this is a combination of two institutions that share a community-focused approach to business and a commitment of strong service to their members."
Highgrove Community President Pat Johnson agreed saying "[Wings Financial] is steeped in the credit union culture and understands what that means in terms of putting members first."