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SANTA ANA, Calif. – Having completed two credit union mergers already this year, Orange County’s Credit Union is continuing to expand with plans to take over another financial institution possibly before the end of the year. The latest completed merger was with Verizon Employees Federal Credit Union of Los Alamitos, which was officially completed July 1. That acquisition added 1,122 new members to Orange County’s CU and boosted assets by some $4 million. That brought Orange County’s CU total numbers to more than 81,000 members and $763 million in assets. Officials at the credit union said its asset size places it among the top 2% of credit unions nationwide. The community-chartered credit union is the second largest CU in the sprawling Orange County area. However, it lags far behind number one Orange County Teachers Federal Credit Union, which has more than $4 billion in assets. The next acquisition for Orange County’s CU looks to be Buena Park City Employees FCU. A merger application, filed June 1 with the California Department of Financial Institutions, was approved by the agency June 28. If completed, Buena Park City Employees would join Verizon and Coastline Community Credit Union in Long Beach as members of Orange County’s CU. The merger with Coastline was completed in February, adding 6,000 new members, $40 million in assets and 100 Select Employee Groups, including the Long Beach Convention Center, the Queen Mary, Charter Communications and Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott and Sheraton hotels. Buena Park City Employees has assets of approximately $4 million. The Verizon merger was approved by regulators in May and members of that credit union voted to proceed with the takeover. Merger talks, initiated by Verizon Employees – which was founded in 1951 as GTE Employees FCU – had been ongoing for about a year. The merger was the result of a restructuring at Verizon, according to Vivian Escalante, chief executive officer of Verizon Employees FCU. She said the credit union wanted to be able to continue to offer services to its members. “The deciding factor for us in choosing Orange County’s Credit Union was their high level of member service,” Escalante said. “The future care of our members was very important to us.” Judy McCartney, chief executive officer of Orange County’s CU, said she was delighted to take in members from Verizon Employees. “It is an honor to have a fellow financial institution choose us to care for their members,” she said in a prepared statement. “We’re excited to welcome these new members to our credit union family.” Orange County’s Credit Union operates seven branches and 17 ATM locations. Members also have access to more than 100 shared branch locations in California and nationwide as well as Co-op Network ATMs nationwide. Orange County’s CU was founded in 1938. Membership is open to anyone who lives or works in Orange County or in the neighboring communities of Long Beach, Signal Hill, Lakewood and Cerritos. Those communities, outside Orange County, were previously served by Coastline Community Credit Union. -

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