TwinStar Credit Union Announces Plan to Merge With Oregon-Based Credit Union


TwinStar Credit Union, which is headquartered in Lacey, announced Thursday a plan to merge with an Oregon-based credit union.

The planned merger is subject to regulatory approval and a vote of the members at Eugene-based Northwest Community Credit Union. It is expected to be finalized in 2023.

"People have asked, and are going to continue to ask us, why merge?" said Jeff Kennedy, chief executive of TwinStar, in a statement. "To be frank, it goes beyond just one reason. It's because we would gain economies of scale; it's because we'd grow to 36 branches across two states; it's because with that growth comes more opportunity.

"Ultimately, however, we are pursuing this merger because we believe we can provide more member, employee, and community value together and we've found a great partnership."

Kennedy could not be reached Thursday.

If the merger is approved, the credit union's combined assets would be about $4 billion, with more than 245,000 members throughout Oregon and Washington, and 700 employees.

Also if approved, Kennedy would be CEO of the new organization and John Iglesias, the current CEO of Northwest Community Credit Union, would be president.

In the interim, the two credit unions would operate under their existing names until a new name is determined.

TwinStar has provided some answers to frequently asked questions about the proposed merger on its website.

Some of those questions and answers:

— Why has TwinStar CU decided to pursue a merger? Several years ago, TwinStar did formalize a merger strategy as part of our overall strategic plan.

— Would you close branches? There are no plans for any branch closures.

— Would any employees lose their jobs as a result of the merger? The intent is to retain all existing staff.

— What is the merger timeline? It is anticipated the merger would be finalized in early 2023, with systems fully integrated in late 2023 or 2024.

Under the guidelines of the National Credit Union Administration, a successful merger is contingent upon Northwest Community Credit Union member approval.

NWCU members would vote to accept the organization's plan to merge under the authority of a Washington state charter. TwinStar members are currently under the Washington state charter authority, according to a news release.

TwinStar was first established in 1937 by teachers at Olympia High School. The credit union was then known as the Thurston County Teachers Credit Union.

NWCU was founded in 1949 by six members of Weyerhaeuser.