Credit unions merge June 1The merger between Metro and Hermantown Federal credit unions is on. But the actual date when the two become one has been pushed to June 1.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
The merger between Metro and Hermantown Federal credit unions is on. But the actual date when the two become one has been pushed to June 1.
Members of Superior’s Metro Credit Union voted overwhelmingly to approve the union. About 88 percent of the members who attended a special meeting April 19 supported the move, according to Pete Moran, Metro board chairman.
Metro members won’t see any big adjustments June 1, however. Changes will occur slowly over the summer until the data processing systems are merged in September, according to Doug Ralston, vice president of Hermantown Federal Credit Union. The financial institution plans to send out information on the progress throughout the summer.
The top three questions Ralston has fielded are whether the doors at the Metro building, 25 Belknap St., will remain open, whether current employees will be retained and if account numbers will change. The answers are yes, yes and maybe.
“We’re trying to make it work so we don’t have to change the numbers,” Ralston said, but if there is a change it should be minimal. He said the credit union plans to supply new debit cards and a box of starter checks to Metro members at no charge once the merger is complete.
The top priority for Moran and the board as they looked for a partner was fair and equal treatment for members, closely followed by fair treatment for employees. Ralston said the majority of Metro Credit Union’s approximately 17 employees will be staying.
“We have retained all the staff for the most part,” he said.
Some will even get raises, Moran said, to put them on a par with their Hermantown counterparts. The merger process has been going smoothly in part because both credit unions have similar philosophies.
“I’m comfortable with Hermantown’s management and board,” Moran said. “They are very much like us, workaday people there to help each other.”
Ralston said their goal with this partnership is to build off the solid, community foundation Metro Credit Union has built over the past 75 years. He said the new sign for the branch, which will go up once the merger is complete, will maintain Metro’s identity.
“For the most part I think the membership and community will be happy about it,” Ralston said.
The union of the two financial institutions will result in the third largest credit union in the region, Moran said, and the partnership will offer Metro members new products and services as well as attractive rates. One of the benefits available through Hermantown Federal Credit Union, for example, is access to 40,000 surcharge-free ATMs, including those at local Super America stores.
Metro members should be watching their mailboxes this week for a welcome letter from their new partner, Ralston said. More updates will be sent via mail and email over the coming weeks.
“We’re very pleased with how it’s working out,” Moran said. “It’s a good thing for all concerned.”