Marking a new phase in league co-operation, the Michigan and Illinois credit union leagues disclosed Monday they have signed a strategic alliance agreement to collaborate on membership and product development.
The two leagues stressed the collaboration deal is "neither a merger agreement nor an intent to merge" but rather a partnering step to work more closely to further the industry mission in sharing services and product enhancement in the two states.
"We believe this agreement will provide credit unions with a wide array of product choices and enhancements in a cost effective manner," said Dan Plauda, president/CEO of the Illinois League adding, "in these tough economic times, we are pleased to be able to take advantage of the strengths the Michigan and Illinois Leagues bring to the table in this area."
Each leagues' top management staff met in Chicago Dec 16-17 "as a capstone meeting" for a series of sessions held recently by the two state leagues, said a statement.
"Credit union industry consolidation is driving collaboration and economies of scale and skill for support organizations as well," said Michigan Credit Union League and Affiliates CEO David Adams.
Adams said his league "reinforces the need for greater collaboration among the state's business units. "The Illinois and Michigan Leagues both have proven track records in the area of business solutions. There is a remarkable lack of overlap in our product areas. We think this creates great opportunities for joining forces either formally or informally in order to share our strengths and visions in each state," said Adams.
No mention was made in the release if other leagues in neighboring Midwest states might also join in collaboration effort but it was expected there would might be a reaching out to other trade groups.
"The two leagues are intent on assuring that the collaboration agreement will lead to real results in terms of cost-savings, idea-sharing and other benefits for member credit unions," concluded the statement. "Each organization sees this alliance agreement as the first step toward more formal collaboration and affiliated credit unions in both states will be the benefactors of the partnering efforts," the statement concluded.