Washington Merger Creates New $1 Billion CU Giant

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SEATTLE – In the latest mega-merger among credit unions, on Monday Watermark CU announced it is combining with Tacoma’s Sound CU to create a credit union with more than $1.1 billion in assets.

Merger plans call for Richard Brandsma, president of Sound CU, to become CEO of the new credit union. Sharon Sanford, Watermark CU’s president, is scheduled to retire later this year. The new credit union will retain the name Sound CU, be headquartered in Tacoma and will have 21 branches in western Washington. The new board will consist of 12 members with equal representation from Watermark and Sound.

“Watermark wants to expand to serve its members in the south Puget Sound region. Sound has been working to expand north,” said Brandsma. “Combining the strengths from both credit unions would expand service for both membership groups through improved product lines, expanded technology offerings and financial stability. Members would benefit from this merger of two strong credit unions.”

The two $550 million credit unions have similar heritages, with each chartered in neighboring cities to serve telephone company employees, and each having expanded to serve the entire state of Washington.


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