Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Business Watch: Topeka Credit Union Considering Merger

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Business Watch: Topeka Credit Union Considering Merger

Article excerpt

New Century Credit Union is in talks about a possible merger with a Wichita credit union.

Mid American Credit Union, which is based in Wichita and has branches in Lawrence, Larned and Arkansas City, said in a new release that talks about a potential merger were underway with New Century, which has branches in Topeka and Kansas City.

New Century has about

$21 million in assets and 3,400 members. Mid American has about $232 million in assets and 30,000 members. The members of both credit unions would need to vote to approve a potential merger.

Stephanie Stuart, president and CEO of New Century, said its members would benefit from merging with a larger credit union that can offer more services. For example, members have said they would like online bill paying and for their accounts to show debit card purchases immediately, but it would be expensive for New Century to implement those services on its own -- and it wouldn't have to if it merges with a credit union that already has them, she said.

"There's a gain of products and services," she said.

New Century members also would gain access to Mid American's branches, Stuart said, and staff would get help from Mid American's larger staff with paperwork and other back-office functions. The plan is for all current employees to stay on if the merger goes through, she said.

Jim Holt, president and CEO of Mid American, said each credit union's board has already approved the merger plan, and the members will have a vote in October. The Kansas Department of Credit Unions and the National Credit Union Administration also would need to sign off on the plan, so it likely wouldn't become official until the first or second quarter of 2015, he said.

Mid American and New Century have had a long business relationship, Holt said, and sometimes have sold loans when one had too many and the other had too few in its portfolio. Mid American already has 1,500 members in eastern Kansas, who would benefit from easier access to a branch through New Century's locations, he said.

"That will make it easier for them to do business with us," he said. …

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