CO-OP Financial Services and InFirst Federal Credit Union, a $170 million institution based in Alexandria, Va., have signed a definitive agreement under which CO-OP will transfer ownership of its Credit Union Family Service Center in Marlow Heights, Md., to InFirst FCU.
The Marlow Heights outlet is the last CO-OP-owned location in the CO-OP Shared Branch network. As reported earlier this month, CO-OP sold seven branches in the Detroit area to the $275 million Public Service Credit Union of Romulus, Mich.
Two additional branches in that area will close in late June, with staff transferring to Public Service CU along with the employees of the other seven branches.
“The team at InFirst Federal Credit Union is excited to open our first branch in Marlow Heights,” said Marty Wye, president and CEO of InFirst FCU, in a statement. “We are pleased that the current branch employees will join us in welcoming members to our newest shared branch outlet.”
Jim Hanisch, president of CO-OP Network, stated that InFirst FCU is an “experienced operator” of shared branch outlets.
“The CUFSC Marlow Heights staff will become InFirst FCU employees when the location opens as an InFirst FCU shared branch location,” Hanisch added.
Looking at the bigger picture, Hanisch stated that “owning branches is not a strategic imperative for CO-OP,” but added that all the branches sold this month are “wonderful fits” for the purchasing credit unions.
“Finding the most efficient way to operate shared branching is part of our commitment to growing the CO-OP Shared Branch network,” Hanisch added.
Bill Prichard, director of public relations at CO-OP, told Credit Union Journal that the “strategic decision to sell the branches we owned was something we have pursued for several months. CO-OP has divested itself of all the branches it owned at the first of the year.”
Prichard added that there are 5,700 branches in the CO-OP Shared Branch network, “all owned by credit unions, with the exception of 12 branches owned by state leagues in Florida, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Virginia and Wisconsin.”