Citing “increasing competitive pressure,” ClearChoice Federal Credit Union, a $15.7 million institution based in Wyomissing, Pa., has entered into an agreement to merge into Utilities Employees Credit Union, a $1.2 billion institution also based in Wyomissing.

Subject to approvals by the ClearChoice members, the National Credit Union Administration and the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities, the proposed transaction is expected to close “later this year.”

In a letter to membership, ClearChoice’s CEO Louise Lingenfelser wrote that the credit union believes that entering into this merger pact aligns with its philosophy of proving members access to a “broader range of products and services, while still experiencing the exceptional personal service” they have grown accustomed to.

Lingenfelser further said that ClearChoice had approached UECU due to its “financial strength, proven ability to serve members nationwide, broad palette of quality products and services, great rates, member-centric focus, and compatibility of companies served.”

Louise Lingenfelser , ClearChoice
Louise Lingenfelser, CEO of ClearChoice

This merger, Lingenfelser added, is a “natural fit” since the utility and energy industries represent “the core component of the membership for both organizations.”

Erica Gates, senior marketing communications specialist at UECU, told Credit Union Journal that “It is our intention to offer all ClearChoice employees positions with Utilities Employees Credit Union.”

ClearChoice has been serving active and retired employees of the UGI Corporation and its subsidiaries since 1957.

In a letter to UECU members, CEO Pat Zyma wrote that the credit union is “committed to growing our organization through the addition of new engaged members. As the credit union grows, we benefit from a broader membership base which moderates risks, increases opportunities, and lowers operating costs per member, allowing more dollars to be channeled towards directly benefiting UECU members.”

Patricia Zyma, UECU
Patricia Zyma, CEO of UECU

The addition of ClearChoice’s 2,300 members to UECU’s field of membership, Zyma added, and the “opportunities afforded through this merger in building and deepening relationships with ClearChoice’s select employee groups,” supports its strategic goals.

According to call reports, UECU posted net income of about $6.5 million in each of the last two years. Meanwhile, ClearChoice generated net income of about $56,300 in 2016, after recording net income of $93,000 in the prior year.

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