The Board of Directors of Gesa Credit Union have announced plans to partner with Inspirus Credit Union with the intent to merge. For the past several months we’ve been working side by side with the Inspirus Board and CEO, Scott Adkins, to evaluate the value of this partnership. During our work together, one thing became more and more evident: our two organizations are, simply put, better together.
Gesa and Inspirus share similar values, philosophies, and commitments to the communities they serve. Both believe passionately in giving back to the community, supporting education, and providing the best value and experience to members. Together, the combined credit union will remain committed to these same driving principles.
Unlike a traditional bank merger this is not a buy out or acquisition. This merger represents a true collaborative partnership between two financially strong credit unions committed to their members. The Board of Directors and leadership of both Gesa Credit Union and Inspirus Credit Union recognize they can better serve the memberships of both credit unions together. As the financial services landscape continues to evolve this merger will give the combined organization the ability to expand what it offers members such as access to more products and services, more locations throughout the state of Washington, reduced costs and enhanced technologies that will provide greater 24/7 convenience.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS MERGER?
The merger of these two strong credit unions will provide long-term growth and sustainability and will allow both to continue to be a strong, viable financial organization; and continue to provide more opportunities for members and employees.
WHAT DOES THIS MERGER MEAN FOR MEMBERS?
An exciting benefit of this partnership for our members will be the added convenience of two (soon to be five) service locations in western Washington and one additional location in Spokane. Additionally, the merged organization will have more resources, allowing the credit union to offer more competitive rates (lower loan rates and higher savings rates) and services, and an expanded ability to invest in new products and services as desired by our members.
Overall the combined assets of the merged organization will be approximately $3.3 billion. With twenty-three locations throughout western and eastern Washington, the combined organization will have a strong physical presence to serve the combined membership. Additionally, the combined organization will have enhanced capabilities to deliver a superior digital experience.
While nothing will change right now, once merger approvals are obtained, this partnership means we can better anticipate and meet members’ financial needs in the future.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES TO BEING A LARGER ORGANIZATION?
Becoming a larger credit union with combined assets of $3.3 billion will provide opportunities to increase efficiencies and return those savings right back to members in greater value, new technology and services, better loan and deposit rates, and higher levels of community giving.
WHO IS INSPIRUS CREDIT UNION?
Inspirus Credit Union is based out of Seattle, Washington. With six locations in western Washington, one location in Spokane, and nearly 80,000 members, Inspirus has been a great performer in the credit union industry. A community-based organization, with deep roots in the education sector, Inspirus has approximately 150 employees dedicated to helping improve the financial needs of their members’ lives and their communities.
WILL MY ACCOUNTS BE AFFECTED?
There will be no affect to your accounts or account numbers at this time. Eventually members from one credit union will need to convert to the other’s data operating system to enhance capabilities. This is under investigation and will likely not occur until sometime in 2020. As that time approaches, the credit union will work to ensure a seamless integration, so that members can conduct business as usual.
WILL GESA’S COMMITMENT TO THE COMMUNITY CHANGE?
The Board of Directors and leadership teams of both organizations are committed to ensuring that the unique and important histories of both organizations are not only maintained but that the combined organization will continue to honor their roots. Inspirus and Gesa have many shared values including supporting their communities and education partners.
WILL ANY STAFF BE LAID OFF DUE TO THIS MERGER?
No employees at Inspirus or Gesa will be terminated as a result of the merger. In fact, this merger will provide additional benefits and new opportunities for employees in the combined organization.
WILL MY ACCOUNTS CONTINUE TO BE INSURED?
Yes. Member savings will continue to be Federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration.
WILL MY RATES CHANGE?
The rates on fixed rate loans or certificate of deposits (CDs) will remain the same until the end of their existing terms. As always, any CD renewals or new loans are subject to current rates which are determined by several factors including the current interest rate environment at the time of a new loan or investment.
WILL YOU CLOSE SERVICE CENTERS?
No. You can rest assured there are no plans for any service center closures. This merger will add five branches in Western Washington and one additional branch in Spokane with plans for more branches already underway.
WILL I CONTINUE TO GET THE SAME SERVICE AND ATTENTION?
Yes. Both organizations are committed to providing high levels of service for members and this will continue to be a focus for the combined organization.
WHO WILL LEAD THE NEW ORGANIZATION?
Don Miller will serve as the CEO of the merged organization. Scott Adkins, Inspirus’ CEO, will continue serving the combined organization as a senior executive. Don Miller has served as Gesa Credit Union’s CEO since 2013. He’s been with Gesa for 30+ years and has served in nearly all the different functional areas of the organization. He is a native of Ellensburg, WA and attended Central Washington University and received his MBA from Washington State University.
WHAT WILL THE COMBINED ORGANIZATION’S NAME BE?
The name for the combined organization has not been determined. Inspirus and Gesa Credit Union are proud of their individual brands but recognize it may not serve the purposes of a newly created, statewide credit union. It is for these reasons both organizations will conduct a comprehensive brand research study to determine the most appropriate and unifying name for the combined organization.
WHAT IS THE MERGER TIMELINE?
Our regulators, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and Washington State’s Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), have both approved our merger plans. With member support of the merger through the voting process, our legal day as a combined organization would be in August 2019. We would then begin to work on fully integrating the operations and systems of our credit unions with a target completion date of sometime in 2020.