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PORTLAND, Ore. – When Portland Teachers Credit Union and Oregon Community Credit Union revealed that discussions were underway to potentially create the largest merger in the movement’s history, the news could have been kept behind closed doors. Instead, both credit union boards deliberately chose to keep their employees and members informed early on in the deliberations, said PTCU President/CEO Cliff Dias and OCCU President/CEO Gordon Hoerauf. PTCU serves more than 150,000 members and has $1.5 billion in assets. OCCU serves 79,000 members and has $662 million in assets. If the merger occurs, it would create a $2 billion credit union, placing it among the growing number of multi-billion credit unions. PTCU is the largest credit union in the state. Both Dias and Hoerauf emphasize that nothing has been etched in stone but an outside firm has been hired to facilitate the logistics of the merger and to perform various research and analysis tasks. A former NCUA regulator and credit union consultant has also been retained to perform additional analysis of the potential merger. With strong capital levels at 9% and 8.3% for PTCU and OCCU respectively, outsiders may wonder why even consider the possibility of merging. Dias said the merger would allow for “an opportunity to grow much faster than we would if we remained independent” in the midst of a saturated bank marketplace here. While OCCU’s change to a community charter earlier this year expanded its field of membership to 10 counties in Western Oregon, Hoerauf acknowledged it could serve those counties much faster if the merger were to happen.

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