Spokane Journal of Business

Spokane Sears credit union to merge into PrimeSource

Regulatory nod given for transaction to be completed next month

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Spokane-based PrimeSource Credit Union is merging Sears Spokane Employees Federal Credit Union into its operations next month, say the CEOs of both institutions. 

Mark Smith, CEO of Sears Spokane, says he began searching for a credit union with which to merge about two years ago.

“With all of the issues that Sears Holdings Corp. has had over the last 10-plus years, it’s had a dramatic effect on the credit union itself,” Smith says.

There were once 27 Sears credit unions throughout the U.S., Smith says, each independent from one another. The Sears Spokane institution was the last of those credit unions to remain open. Membership in Sears Spokane is open only to Sears employees and their family members, Smith says.

PrimeSource and Sears Spokane have each received regulatory approval, Smith says. The credit unions are currently working on consolidating their operating systems and expect to complete the merger on Nov. 19.

No financial compensation for executives or board members was involved in the transaction, Smith says. 

PrimeSource CEO Margaret Burkholz says Smith and one employee from Sears Spokane will join PrimeSource, bringing the credit union’s total number of employees to 24. Smith will occupy the position of loan manager.

“It’s PrimeSource’s goal, Mark’s goal, and both of our boards combined, that we welcome Sears members and employees as if they’re PrimeSource family, just like we treat our members,” Burkholz says.

Smith says he approached Burkholz last year after determining PrimeSource to be the best option for a merger based on the credit union’s branch locations, financial resources, and other factors.

“We looked at multiple credit unions and had a very stringent set of criteria that the credit unions had to meet,” Smith says. “As we went through that process of looking at these different credit unions and ruling some out based on our search criteria, PrimeSource kept coming to the top.”

Burkholz says PrimeSource has $77.3 million in assets. Sears Spokane had $4.1 million in assets as of June 30, according to a report filed with the National Credit Union Administration.

PrimeSource has 7,073 members, Burkholz says. Smith says Sears Spokane has 470 members. 

PrimeSource has three Spokane-area branches at 428 E. Third, east of downtown; on Spokane’s North Side, at 9707 E. Nevada, and in Spokane Valley, at 9208 E. Sprague. Sears Spokane will occupy part of the Nevada office from Nov. 1 until the merger is completed, according to Sears Spokane’s website, at which point the credit union will be absorbed into PrimeSource. 

Virginia Thomas
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Reporter Virginia Thomas has worked at the Journal since 2017 and covers the banking and finance industries. As a reporter, she loves learning about Spokane's many growing industries. She enjoys travelling with her husband, snuggling with her cats, and cross stitching.

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