Northwoods Credit Union of Cloquet, Minn., announced that it completed a merger with Floodwood Area Credit Union of Floodwood, Minn., effective April 1.

Members of Floodwood Area CU had approved the merger on March 22. The transaction was already approved by the Minnesota Department of Commerce as well as the National Credit Union Administration.

The combined institution has more than $110 million in assets and more than 10,000 members.

"Our board and management started looking for potential merger partners and after much research, chose Northwoods CU as they have very similar core values," Patrick Babinski, Floodwood Area CU’s former president and CEO, said in a statement.

Northwoods CU said that all employees of Floodwood Area CU will remain in their jobs and Babinski will continue to manage the Floodwood, Minn., office.

Barb Brown, Northwoods Credit Union president and CEO, at far right, with other Northwoods employees
Barb Brown, Northwoods CU president and CEO, at far right, with other Northwoods employees

The merger will provide former Floodwood Area CU members with products and services they were not able to get before, such as online bill payment, mobile deposit and additional mortgage products.

"We couldn't be happier that Floodwood chose us as a merger partner,” said Barb Brown, Northwoods CU president and CEO. “It is increasingly more difficult for smaller credit unions to compete with the rising technology costs as well as regulations. Combining our resources through this partnership brings value to both credit unions, staff and our members."

Brown has announced her intention to retire as Northwoods CEO early next year. When she took over as CEO in 2003, the credit union had about $36 million in assets and 5,000 members.

Northwoods CU posted a net loss of about $83,000 in 2017, after recording net income of about $104,000 in the prior year.

Meanwhile, Floodwood Area CU posted net income of about $54,000 last year, up from about $9,500 in 2016.

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