Mail merge

Vermont’s 2 largest credit unions to merge

The VSECU building in Montpellier on Wednesday 23 February. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

Vermont’s two largest credit unions are considering merging into one.

The New England Federal Credit Union and the Vermont State Employees Credit Union announced plans to merge on Wednesday. The move, which requires regulatory and member approval, could be finalized by early 2023, the organizations say.

“We recognized early on that we could accomplish more together than alone,” Rob Miller, CEO of Montpelier-based VSECU, said in a press release. “Connecting our class of leading services, programs and resources will give us the increased scale and capacity to amplify our mission and like-minded commitment to helping people succeed financially.”

John Dwyer, CEO of the Williston-based NEFCU, highlighted the smooth transition the two organizations plan to make.

“Being able to accomplish this merger that maintains ownership, management and resources here in Vermont is a true testament to how the partnership embodies our local values,” he said in the statement.

Dwyer expects to retain the role of CEO, and Miller would become president and chief operating officer of the merged credit union.

NEFCU serves 95,000 members, controls $1.9 billion, and operates primarily in northwestern Vermont. Montpellier-based VSECU is a $1.1 billion financial cooperative with over 70,000 member-owners. The merged organization would operate as NEFCU and have nearly 500 employees.

VSECU’s senior vice president of marketing and business development, Yvonne Garand, said customers can expect extensive services.

“We know that NEFCU, their real strength, has been in housing and affordable housing through mortgage products and services,” she said. “And the sweet spot for VSECU has been in green power lending.”

“We will be able to provide members and more Vermonters with greater access to affordable, energy-efficient homeownership,” Garand said.

No branch of either credit union is expected to close, Garand said.

Although both boards voted in favor of the merger last week, it has yet to receive regulatory approval from the National Credit Union Administration and pass a final vote by VSECU members. NEFCU marketing and retail manager Bill Smith said none of the unions had “significant concerns” about the final stages of the process.

“Both credit unions are financially strong,” Smith said. “It’s not a merger that has anything to do with ability, but rather with opportunity.”

According to Smith, the organizations expect “no layoffs relative to a merger.”

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