Spokane Journal of Business

Two credit unions here are absorbed

Numerica, Cd’A Teachers merge; Columbia Lighting, Inland Empire Trades unite

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A pair of mergers has left the Spokane-Coeur dAlene area with two fewer credit unions.

Numerica Credit Union, one of Spokanes largest credit unions, has absorbed the 3,000-member Coeur dAlene Teachers Credit Union. Also, two of Spokanes smaller credit unionsInland Empire Trades Credit Union and Columbia Lighting Employees Federal Credit Unionhave united under the Inland Empire Trades banner.

Numerica completed its merger with Coeur dAlene Teachers on Nov. 1, says Jennifer Lehn, Numericas executive vice president. Coeur dAlene Teachers had operated in North Idaho since 1956. Its assets of $10.5 million bring Numericas total assets in North Idaho to $46.5 million and its overall assets to $522.5 million, Lehn says.

Coeur dAlene Teachers only branch, located at 1410 Kathleen Ave., in Coeur dAlene, will operate there as the Coeur dAlene Teachers branch of Numerica Credit Union for about a year, at which time Numerica will decide whether and where to relocate it, Lehn says. Before the merger, Numerica had planned to open a second branch in Coeur dAlene, she says. The recent merger gives it that second branch; however, it is located too close to its current branch at 420 W. Bosanko, near the citys busy U.S. 95 corridor, she says.

Numerica has operated a Coeur dAlene branch for 10 years. It employs 13 people there, Lehn says.

Teachers employs eight people, all of whom will be retained, she says. Its former president, Joyce Henry, will continue to manage the branch.

With the addition of Coeur dAlene Teachers 3,000 members, Numerica now has about 9,600 members in North Idaho and about 60,300 members overall.

Coeur dAlene Teachers membership had included school districts and select employee groups in Kootenai, Shoshone, Bonner, and Boundary counties, Lehn says. Just prior to the merger, Numerica applied and received approval for a charter change to allow residents of the aforementioned North Idaho counties, as well as Benewah and Latah counties, to join as members, she says.

The credit unions opted to merge because the Coeur dAlene Teachers board decided that with that credit unions small size, it wouldnt be as competitive as it wanted to be in breadth of services and rates offered, Lehn says.

The merger gives the Coeur dAlene credit unions members access to Numericas services, its branches, and better interest rates on loans and deposits, she says. Those members deposits also now will be federally insured.

Second merger

The other merger here, involving Inland Empire Trades Credit Union (IET) and Columbia Lighting Employees Federal Credit Union, occurred on Oct. 31, says IETs CEO, Demaris Krummel.

IET will keep open the Columbia office inside the Columbia Lighting plant at the Spokane Business & Industrial Park to serve its members who work there, but the branch wont be open to the public, she says. It employs three people.

IETs main branch, located in a 760-square-foot space in office building at 102 E. Boone, employs five people.

IET now has 3,700 members and $6.3 million in assets after adding Columbias 700 members and $2.4 million in assets, Krummel says.

Krummel says Columbia agreed to the merger because they wanted to add expensive services, like credit cards and debit cards and they certainly had the management resources to do it, but it would have been difficult.

IET offers debit cards, credit cards, and mortgage loans, and plans to begin offering individual retirement accounts (IRAs), Krummel says. The Columbia Lighting branch now will be able to provide a quicker turnaround on loan applications, she says.

IETs charter authorizes it to accept as members all labor union members and their families.

Meanwhile, IET plans to move this month to 2004 N. Hamilton. It will lease a 2,500-square-foot space there that previously housed the Spokane Firefighters Credit Union, Krummel says. IET may eventually buy the building, she says. Spokane Firefighters Credit Union currently is located at 2002 N. Atlantic.

We have been looking and looking for years for a facility like this, Krummel says.

The building has a drive-up window, an automated-teller machine, and a night depository, she says.

This is such a good opportunity for our union members to see us as a real credit union, she says.

  • Sandra Hosking

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