Honor Credit Union merger in the works

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

BERRIEN SPRINGS — Honor Credit Union announced a proposed merger with a Battle Creek-based financial institution, which is pending a member vote in 2017.

The Berrien Springs-based credit union’s planned partnership with Battle Creek Area Community Federal Credit Union was announced through a news release Tuesday.

Upon regulatory approval and a positive member vote from the Battle Creek credit union members, BCACFCU would become a part of Honor Credit Union.

“Collaboration is what the credit union movement is all about,” Honor CEO Scott McFarland said in the release. “We’re excited to partner with BCACFCU and the opportunities that will come with working together with this great team and community.”

Honor spokeswoman Kaylee Williams said BCACFCU selected Honor Credit Union to align resources with “in order to offer greater opportunities for both memberships.”

“This is a voluntary merger pending a member vote from the Battle Creek,” Williams told The Herald-Palladium on Tuesday. “Battle Creek put a lot of thought and preparation to make sure this made sense for everyone.”

BCACFCU’s total assets are nearly $19 million with a membership of about 2,500. HCU’s total assets are more than $706 million with a membership of about 63,000.

In Berrien County, HCU has six locations, including Benton Harbor, Berrien Springs, Coloma, Niles, St. Joseph and Stevensville. Williams said the lone branch in Battle Creek would become an Honor Credit Union location.

“We are excited to be entering a partnership with Honor Credit Union,” Liz Amundson, CEO of BCACFCU, said in a release. “Combining forces with an organization that shares our core beliefs and values is key and we look forward to expanding upon our tradition of excellent member service.”

Williams said the member vote would take place in January, which follows a December Q&A session in Battle Creek.

The Q&A session will be at the BCACFCU branch at 240 North Helmer Road in Battle Creek at 5 p.m. Dec. 13. Williams said the forum would be open to the public.

HCU is no stranger to mergers. In 2014, HCU merged with SIR Federal Credit Union, which previously served residents in the Negaunee, Marquette and Gwinn areas in the Upper Peninsula.

Allegis Credit Union, previously based in Kalamazoo, joined HCU in 2012.

This is among a few big moves HCU made in 2016. Honor recently opened its new operations center in Berrien Springs and broke ground a few months ago on a new St. Joseph branch along Niles Avenue.

Additional information for both credit unions is available at www.bcacfcu.org and www.honorcu.com.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Nov. 23, 2016)

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