STCU to expand footprint with Umpqua branch deal

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Spokane Teachers Credit Union in Liberty Lake, Wash., which does business as STCU, has agreed to buy four branches from Umpqua Bank in Roseburg, Ore.

The deal would expand the $3.7 billion-asset credit union’s footprint to Adams and Grant counties in Washington, in addition to giving it additional locations in the West Plains area of Spokane County.

Ezra Eckhardt, president and CEO of Spokane Teachers Credit Union
Ezra Eckhardt, president and CEO of STCU

The four locations being sold are former Sterling Bank branches. The $29.6 billion-asset Umpqua acquired Sterling in 2014. STCU President and CEO Ezra Eckhardt was the president of Spokane-based Sterling at the time of that deal. He became the chief operating officer of Umpqua after the merger and took over at STCU in 2018.

“Knowing these two organizations as I do, I am confident that the wellbeing of Umpqua customers and STCU members will be foremost on the minds of everyone involved in this project, along with the good of these four communities,” Eckhardt said in a press release on Thursday. “We can’t wait to show our new members everything that makes STCU a great financial partner.”

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, and the branch sale still needs approval from state regulators, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the National Credit Union Administration. The institutions expect the deal to close later this year or early next year.

Credit unions have bought more bank and bank branches in recent years to help bolster their growth, though the pace of bank acquisitions has slowed this year. This is at least the second branch sale by Umpqua to a credit union. Earlier this year, the bank said it would sell three branches to First Community Credit Union in Coquille, Ore.

STCU has also been tweaking its branch network. It recently said it would suspend its shared branching due to the coronavirus outbreak. Last year, the credit union bought the deposits and loans of a Banner Bank branch in Idaho but closed the location.

The credit union earned $13.8 million through the first six months of the year, down almost 10% from the same period a year earlier, according to call report data from NCUA.

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