Two Michigan credit unions, Members First and Central Michigan Community, now set to complete a merger June 1, said Monday they had a positive experience in getting a five-to-one favorable member vote at Central Michigan, the targeted CU.
The larger of the two, the $191 million Members First of Midland called the outcome at the $110 million Central Michigan of nearby Clare “a record-breaking membership vote” based on similar merger balloting at CUs elsewhere in Michigan.
More than 2,500 ballots were cast out of 15,000 members.
“Yes, we’re very pleased that so many Central Michigan members care enough about their credit union to cast ballots,” said Carrie Iafrate, vice president of development at Members First, noting that other mergers “have had as few as 100 votes.”
Iafrate said Michigan lawyers and accountants working on the consolidation had read or heard about unfavorable votes in CU mergers elsewhere.
Members rejected merger offers extended by the $432 million Horizon CU of Spokane Valley, Wash., for a CU in Montana and by the $260 million Jefferson Financial of Metairie, La. bidding for a smaller CU in Baton Rouge.
“The voter turnout shows that our members understand that this partnership will make both institutions stronger,” said Wanda Rawon, CEO of Central Michigan. “We are thrilled with the response.”
Under the merger deal approved by regulators, the combined CU will have 30,000 members and 120 employees in eight branches.
“Our two credit unions are a perfect match to continue making a positive difference in the lives of our members and our communities,” said Eric Brubaker, the CEO of Members First.