The email from the NCUA to current Western Bridge members summed it up: “Today, the National Credit Union Administration Board awarded Catalyst Corporate Federal Credit Union (Catalyst) the exclusive right to acquire Western Bridge Corporate Federal Credit Union (Western Bridge).”
Signed by Scott Hunt, director of the Office of Corporate Credit Unions, the email continued: “In making this decision, the Board contemplated the proposal that best fit its stated goals of minimizing service disruption to members of Western Bridge and obtaining the least long term cost to the insurance fund. Catalyst has a proven track record of integrating operations in prior acquisitions and employing sound business practices to maintain continuity of operations. Catalyst has committed to provide the same array of payments services presently provided by Western Bridge.”
In Plano, Texas, excitement reigned as the news sunk in. “We heard today around 11 a.m. CT,” Dianne Addington, CEO of Catalyst, told Credit Union Times in an interview. She indicated that she believed Catalyst won because many of its computing systems are identical to those used by Western Bridge and an upshot is that the transition is expected to be fast and comparatively easy.
Addington also indicated that she believed many Western Bridge members will find their costs lower when they sign with Catalyst: “We know we bring very good value.”
Credit unions that choose to become Catalyst members will be asked to make a capital contribution, said Addington, “but in most cases it will be much lower than what had been required by United Resources,” the corporate some Western Bridge members had tried to form earlier in 2011. That capital drive fell far short of success.
The next step for Catalyst, said Addington, is that it will hold a series of town hall meetings in January.