Effective May 1, the $170 million United Bay Community Credit Union of Bay City combined with Kalamazoo’s $28 million Access First FCU.
Gary Klein, the president/CEO of the continuing institution, said he was not at liberty now to discuss negotiations with any other credit unions but the organization does look forward to generating loan growth in western Michigan. Management said it hopes to expand geographically within the state and reach $500 million in the next couple of years. A United Bay spokesperson stressed there are no immediate merger deals under way to be announced “but we are looking at several opportunities.”
Rob Viland, former CEO of Access First, is now executive vice president/chief operating officer of United Bay.
The United Community-Access First merger has been in the works for more than a year and will result in a credit union with 27,000 members in six counties. Seventy percent of Access First FCU members approved the merger last August.
Sign changes have already been made, said Mary Lou Gustin, United Bay vice president. “We are in the process of linking their website to ours with specific pages about hours, locations etc,” she said, adding the computer conversion will not be complete until November.