CO-OP Merger Brings Single CU Switch Closer

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ONTARIO, Calif. – Plans for CO-Financial Services to combine its shared branching network with CU Service Centers brings the decade-long move to consolidate the disparate credit union networks into a single national switch nearer completion. The combination follows closely last year’s deal by CO-OP to acquire ENCORE shared branch/ATM network in suburban Washington, D.C. CO-OP’s merger with the CUSC leaves just a single shared branch network in competition, Financial Service Centers Cooperative. And only one credit union-owned ATM network, Credit Union 24, continues to survive outside of the CO-OP, from what was once more than two dozen credit union networks. CUSC President Carroll Beach acknowledged as much. “The synergies resulting from this coming together offer the credit union movement a one-stop shop for EFT services, which are the cornerstone of convenient delivery for credit unions,” said Beach. “To compete successfully with banks and their growing branch networks, credit unions have to supply services over a vast area–essentially wherever members live, work and travel,” said Stan Hollen, president of the CO-OP. “National shared branching plays a key role in fulfilling the need for convenience for credit union members.” The combination of the CO-OP’s and CUSC systems will create a national network with 1,050 credit unions providing some 1,500 branches in 40 states.

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