Members Say Proposed Washington CU Merger Is Sound

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SEATTLE – Members of Watermark CU on Wednesday approved a merger with Sound CU in Tacoma, which will form the fifth-largest credit union in Washington state with almost $1.2 billion in assets.

The combined entity will operate under the Sound CU name starting Sept. 1 and will be based in Tacoma, with 21 branches from Lynnwood to Olympia.

Yesterday’s vote was the final step in the merger, which both boards announced in February and state and federal regulators later approved.

Rick Brandsma, CEO of Sound Credit Union, called the merger “a perfect fit” because both institutions were seeking to add branches between Seattle and Tacoma. No layoffs will be needed, Brandsma said, because some Watermark corporate staff have chosen not to stay rather than commute to Tacoma.

Washington has been a hotbed of mergers over the past two years, with All City CU in Everett merged into Northwest Plus FCU, also in Everett; Renton Community CU combined with TwinStar CU in Olympia; and Transportation Northwest FCU of Seattle merged into Alaska USA FCU.


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