Lake Michigan CU Merging Ailing Citizens CU
The $1.9 billion Lake Michigan Credit Union is merging with the troubled $62 million Citizens CU of Kalamazoo, giving the Grand Rapids CU an expanded entry into the Kalamazoo market.
If approved by regulators and members, the planned merger would give Lake Michigan five branches in the Kalamazoo area. Lake Michigan currently has 25 offices in Kent and Ottawa counties.
Roger Little, the state's deputy commissioner and head of the Credit Union Division, acknowledged that the Citizens application to merge is a voluntary one but has been in the pipeline for months. The CU lost $1.9 million in 2009 and $149,000 in the first quarter.
A look at the financials, said Little, does show "the credit union has not been performing well."
Neither Sandra Jelinski, president/CEO, of Lake Michigan, nor Robert J. Goscicki, president/CEO of Citizens, were immediately for comment on the merger or on Lake Michigan's immediate expansion plans.
Chartered in 1955, Citizens CU has been serving employees of the City of Kalamazoo and has a community charter covering Kalamazoo, Van Buren and Allegan counties.