ALBANY — The votes are tallied and it’s official: Members of CAP COM Federal Credit Union have approved its merger with SEFCU.
The two large Capital Region-based credit unions announced their intention to merge last July after months of discussion. With regulatory approval in hand, the matter went to members for six weeks of voting. The result was announced to members Wednesday evening.
“The SEFCU and CAP COM teams have a lot more work ahead as our two organizations truly become one,” SEFCU President and CEO Michael J. Castellana said in a message to members. “That integration process will take several months. Now though, for members, it’s business as usual.”
SEFCU was the larger of the two, with more than twice as many members and more than twice as much in assets. But the move was billed as a merger of equals seeking to form a stronger business together, rather than an acquisition.
With nearly 500,000 members, 1,400 employees, and 61 branches, the combined entity will be one of the largest credit unions in the state and one of the top 30 in the nation.
With its larger size, it hopes to provide more by way of services and technologies.
The merged entity will take shape gradually over many months.
For the practical purposes of customers, there are no immediate changes. Account numbers remain the same, debit and credit cards still work, loan payments are made the same way. Members of one credit union cannot yet do business in the branches of the other or use its ATM network without incurring fees.
The two credit unions said there will be no layoffs as a result of the merger, but eventually they may close some existing branches and/or open some new ones.
Castellana will be CEO of unified credit union and Christopher McKenna, who was president and CEO of CAP COM, will be president of the merged entity. People from both credit unions will be seated on the new board.
As part of the process of a merger of equals, the two credit unions will choose a new name.
Their current names are not reflective of present-day operations. Like many credit unions, they have expanded their membership criteria far beyond the original parameters.
State Employees Federal Credit Union, founded in 1934, is no longer just for state employees but for anyone who lives, works, worships, volunteers or attends school in SEFCU’s service areas, or is connected with the roughly 2,000 employer groups affiliated with SEFCU, or is related to someone who meets any of these criteria.
CAP COM FCU, previously Capital Communications FCU, started out 68 years ago as a specialized little institution called New York Telephone Employees FCU and has grown its membership ranks far beyond telephone workers.