GRAND RAPIDS — A mega merger of two West Michigan credit unions has been called off.
Instead of joining operations, Lake Michigan Credit Union in Grand Rapids and St. Joseph-based United Federal Credit Union will remain independent entities.
In a joint statement, the two credit unions characterized the decision as a “mutual conclusion” that they would be “better served by remaining independent in order to deliver the utmost value to their members.”
Executives at both organizations determined they wanted to call off the planned merger before calling a vote and before completing the regulatory process, according to a statement.
After being announced in October, the deal had been scheduled to close by the end of 2015, and would have created one of the largest credit unions in the U.S. with more than $6 billion in assets and spanning 78 locations in seven states.
“We greatly appreciate the opportunity to get to know the team at UFCU and believe our healthy partnership discussions led us to realize we each have unique attributes, members and communities that should remain distinct,” Sandy Jelinski, president and CEO of LMCU, said in a statement.
Talks about a potential deal began when United Federal CEO Gary Easterling in April announced his intent to retire by the end of 2015. At the time, the executives told MiBiz the deal was expected to drive economies of scale and better position a combined organization to compete.
“This was the case of two strong organizations coming together, and in the end we both believed our best path forward was to be independent,” Easterling said.