Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Church of the Brethren Credit Union proposes merger

After more than 72 years of serving the Church of the Brethren with savings and loan opportunities, as well as checking accounts and online banking, the Church of the Brethren Credit Union (CoBCU) Board of Directors has unanimously approved a merger proposal with Corporate America Family Credit Union, with an anticipated completion date of June 1.

This decision was necessitated by the impact the economic recession has had on CoBCU and many other credit unions its size. For several years, savings figures at CoBCU have increased, but revenue producing loans have tapered off. Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT) has served as the administrator of CoBCU since 2004 and has worked to grow membership and push the credit union toward self-sustainment.

"BBT staff worked tirelessly to grow and solidify CoBCU," said Nevin Dulabaum, BBT president and a 37-year member of the credit union. "While the economic challenges experienced by CoBCU finally made it impossible for BBT to continue serving as CoBCU's administrator, we were determined to help the credit union board find a way to provide enhanced services for CoBCU members. A merger with CAFCU achieves that goal."

After performing a thorough search of potential merger candidates across the country, the CoBCU Board accepted CAFCU's proposal. This decision was based on CAFCU's mission statement, excellent member service track record, familiarity with credit union mergers, financial stability, and its impressive list of products and branch locations.

Once the merger is complete, CoBCU members may access the many financial products and services that CAFCU offers its 60,000 members. In addition to the offerings at CoBCU, Corporate America Family Credit Union also offers several credit cards, mortgages and home equity loans, mobile banking, and a variety of educational tools for members.

In addition to its 20 branches nationwide, CAFCU participates in shared branching, meaning that members can perform banking functions at over 6,500 credit unions across the country. Additional services offered through CAFCU include expanded hours of operation, remote deposit options, BALANCE financial counseling, Fresh Start checking and debit card, Visa credit cards, mortgages and home equity loans, mobile banking, member loyalty program, and auto, homeowners, and pet insurance.

A brief history of CAFCU: One year after the groundwork for Church of the Brethren Credit Union was being established by Brethren employees and a Brethren congregation in Elgin, Ill., another credit union's charter was being finalized. In 1939, 15 employees of Automatic Electric Co. formed the Automatic Credit Union. Once that company was purchased by GTE Corporation, it became GTE Employees Federal Credit Union. To ensure the long-term well-being of the credit union, GTE Employees Credit Union began to expand its charter in the early 1980s in order to diversify its membership. To reflect this strategic change, the credit union adopted Corporate America Federal Credit Union as its name. Since the 1980s, CAFCU has grown to serve nearly 60,000 members, and it has seen its assets grow to $550 million (with $65 million in reserves). When it adopted a state of Illinois charter instead of its previous federal charter in 1997, it adopted the name Corporate America Family Credit Union.

A CoBCU membership meeting will be held on April 29 at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., providing an opportunity to ask questions and vote to support the merger. In the meantime, business will continue as usual at the Church of the Brethren Credit Union.

-- Brethren Benefit Trust provided this release. Questions or requests for more information may be addressed to Lynnae Rodeffer, Connie Sandman, or Jill Olson at 888-832-1383 or More about the Church of the Brethren Credit Union is at

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