Sound Credit Union in Wash. buying branch from First Interstate

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Sound Credit Union in Tacoma, Wash., has agreed to purchase a branch and deposits from First Interstate Bank in Lynwood, Wash., about 50 miles north of the credit union's headquarters.

Don Clark, president and CEO of Sound Credit Union
Don Clark, president and CEO of Sound Credit Union

The agreement is part of Sound’s northward push in the state. Earlier this year it announced merger plans with Fluke Employees Federal Credit Union in Everett, Wash., about 15 miles north of Lynwood.

Two years ago the credit union purchased Bank of Washington, the first time in the state's history a credit union acquired a for-profit bank.

The latest deal includes branch facilities and $16 million in retail and business deposits. Three staffers from First Interstate will take positions at Sound CU in order to ensure “continuity of service for existing First Interstate clients,” the credit union said in a press release Monday. The price of the deal was not disclosed.

“We are looking forward to expanding our footprint and serving more members in Snohomish County,” Sound President and CEO Don Clark said in the release. “This purchase will allow Sound to continue delivering world-class service to our members and build a stronger relationship with the local community. It also provides Sound with more office space to conduct daily business and better serve our northern territory.”

Sound CU’s board of directors has approved the purchase and the transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, pending regulatory approval.

Michael Bell of Honigman served as legal counsel for Sound on the deal.

While the pace of credit union-bank purchases has slowed from last year’s record high, the number of branch deals has been closer to normal. Most recently, South Carolina’s Sharonview Federal agreed to buy two Bank OZK branches, while earlier this year Oregon’s First Community CU and Umpqua Bank agreed to a branch sale.

Sound Credit Union has assets of more than $2 billion and more than 137,000 members. It earned about $8.4 million during the first half of the year, a 5.8% decline from the first half of 2019, though employee compensation expenses and allowances for credit losses have also risen, according to call report data from the National Credit Union Administration.

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