Valley credit union merging with Grand Junction company
The Roaring Fork Employees Credit Union is merging with a Grand Junction operation so it can provide checking accounts, loans and mortgages.The Roaring Fork credit union – with assets of about $2.5 million – will be able to offer free checking, mortgage loans, consumer loans and other services thanks to $30 million in assets from the Grand Junction Federal Credit Union. The merger should be complete by July 31, and services won’t change until then.”Our credit union for its little history … we’ve been a little boutique-type operation,” said Richard Gavigan, the manager of the Roaring Fork credit union, at 405 Castle Creek Road. Currently, the credit union offers mostly deposit accounts, such as savings and money market.The credit union will soon have more money to draw from to provide loans and other services. It serves 782 employees of Pitkin County, the city of Aspen, Aspen Valley Hospital and other entities in the Roaring Fork Valley. A credit union differs from a bank in that it is employer-based, not consumer-based – meaning it affiliates with employers, not independent customers.The deal is still in the works and awaiting written approval from the federal government, said Judy Stratton, the president of the Grand Junction Federal Credit Union. She said she did not anticipate any problems in completing the deal.Gavigan said there were many suitors for the merger, but a shared ideology and Stratton’s ability to develop member loyalty made Grand Junction the best option.In addition to providing more services, the merger could bring more members to the credit union. Roaring Fork had initiated the search for a merger.”Part of our mission will be to contact more entities up and down the valley,” he said.While the administrative operation will change slightly – Roaring Fork’s board of directors will be integrated into Grand Junction’s board – Gavigan said customers won’t notice any procedural differences aside from the new services.Gavigan also said the credit union may hire another employee and consider opening a new location. He also hopes to expand the credit union’s hours – currently 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.There could be a name change down the road for both credit unions – there will be a contest for members to come up with a name that fits both locations.Stratten said the Grand Junction branch’s customers also won’t see any changes, but the merger gives it a bit more visibility in another area.”It just gives us another branch in another area,” Stratten said. “It’ll open up some doors for us as far as growth.”Greg Schreier’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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