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Michigan credit union hopes to follow merger with expansion

Preferred Credit Union, a Michigan company recently formed after the finalization of a merger between two smaller financial institutions, has applied for approval that would allow it to dramatically expand its presence in the state. If its requested community-based charter is granted, Preferred hopes to expand its services to 28 counties spanning nearly the entire length of Michigan. The combined company currently employs around 60 employees across six branches.

Preferred Credit Union was born of a merger between Preferred Federal Credit Union of Greenville and Grand Rapids' Grand Valley Co-op Credit Union. Its executive board is comprised of directors from both institutions, though it will be led by Grand Valley's former chief executive officer and president. The chairpersons for both credit unions explained the merger will allow them to "diversify their membership" and offer financial services in a number of new communities.

Preferred has yet to make concrete plans regarding the opening of new branches, but a spokesperson for the combined company explained that any citizens who work or live in the 28 communities included in the charter application would be able to obtain membership with the credit union once their application is approved.

Both credit unions had extensive histories in Michigan prior to the merger. Preferred Federal Credit Union was founded in 1954 by a group of Federal Mogul Corporation Employees. It listed over 10,000 members and assets $52 million at the time of the merger's completion. Grand Valley Co-op Credit Union, a community-based institution, dates back to 1968. It reported more than 14,000 members and around $96 million in assets.

Mergers and acquisitions can be quite legally complex, especially for financial institutions which must abide by a number of complicated laws and regulations. This makes it important for any company or organization considering such a deal to consult with an experienced business and commercial law attorney.

Source: M Live, "Credit union seeks approval for big expansion plans across West Michigan after merger" Jim Harger, Jul. 01, 2013

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