Sandia Laboratory FCU to expand footprint with merger

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Animas Credit Union in Farmington, N.M., said it plans to merge into Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union in Albuquerque.

The merger is subject to approval from state and federal regulators and a vote from Animas members, which may not take place until early next year. Animas holds about $150 million in assets compared to $2.9 billion for Sandia Laboratory FCU. Animas was originally chartered to serve employees of El Paso Natural Gas but membership today is open to anyone in San Juan County.

The deal will provide enhanced products and services for the former Animas members, while also expanding SLFCU’s brick-and-mortar footprint. It already has branches in the greater Albuquerque region, as well as in northern California, and the merger will give it a foothold in northern New Mexico. Farmington is in the northwest portion of the state, just under three hours from Albuquerque.

The merger will also take care of succession planning for ACU, since President and CEO Gary Sterton plans to retire on Jan. 1. All Animas staff members are expected to retain their positions.

“This is a tremendous opportunity that we could not pass up,” Sterton said in a press release. “It gives us the ability to provide expanded capabilities and superior benefits to our members and our employees.”

The combined institution have approximately $3 billion in assets and serve 124,000 members.

Animas Credit Union earned about $263,000 during the first half of the year, about 61% less than its earnings for the same period in 2019, driven by increases in staffing and office costs and reductions in some revenue streams.

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