Marking its first merger, the $165 million Industrial Credit Union of Whatcom County in Bellingham, Wash. is taking over the one-branch, $5 million Ferndale Refinery CU.
The merger has been in the talking stages since last summer and becomes effective Oct. 1. Ferndale members had approved the consolidation Aug. 14.
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“We are excited by what we see as a good match and we are gratified that the Ferndale board selected us from other credit unions in the Bellingham area,” said Terri Salstrom, CEO of the seven-branch, 22,000-member Industrial CU.
Ferndale management, said Salstrom, found the compliance burden overwhelming in recent years “and they would have been forced to hire additional staff to keep up and the chose the merger route.”
Ferndale is well capitalized with over 12% net worth, she said.
“Our credit union is financially very strong,” said Michael Firos, Ferndale chair. “As with many small credit unions, we are finding it increasingly difficult to remain compliant with all of the new regulations without a significant increase in our expenses.” Thus the board decided to find a partner, he said.