APPLETON, Wis. – NCUA has approved a credit union charter for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, a $480 million bank that used to be a credit union which will now be known as Thrivent FCU.

Thrivent Financial was formed in 2001 by the combination of three credit unions, a trust bank and a community bank, all serving the Aid Association for Lutherans. The new credit union will serve almost 47,000 members and continue to be headed by the current CEO of Thrivent Financial Todd Sipe.

“Thrivent Federal Credit Union is a logical fit with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans’ history of aligning faith and finances,” said Sipe. “We will be able to offer a unique combination of financial expertise, competitive products and educational services, and shared values with our members. Our purpose will be to strengthen communities by helping members be wise with money so they can support the people and causes they care about.”

Despite its credit union heritage, Thrivent is the first bank to convert to a credit union since Rochester, N.Y.-based Eastman (Kodak) S&L, now a $4 billion credit union known as ESL FCU, in 1996.

The deal is one of several involving charter switching among banks and credit unions, with three credit unions agreeing over the past 18 months to buy banks and one credit unions poised to be acquired by a bank.

Thrivent expects the charter change to save it up to $2 million annually, about 10% of the bank’s budget, on income tax and regulatory expenses.

The credit union will serve its members from two offices, one located in Minneapolis and the other in Appleton, Wis.  And have a potential membership of 2.5 million people nationwide. Thrivent FCU will also serve members nationwide through a call center and online transactions.

 

In addition to NCUA, the conversion was approved by the FDIC, the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

As part of the charter conversion, all loan and deposit customer accounts held at Thrivent Financial Bank as of the transaction (including individual retirement accounts not serviced by Thrivent Financial Bank’s Trust & Investment Services business) will be transferred to Thrivent FCU. Existing trust accounts, investment management accounts and those individual retirement accounts currently serviced by Thrivent Financial Bank’s Trust & Investment Services business will continue to be serviced and supported at Thrivent Financial Bank, under a new name, “Thrivent Trust Company.” Thrivent Trust Company will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

Thrivent FCU will not be owned by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, but will instead be owned by its credit union members.

Current Thrivent Financial Bank clients will become member-owners of Thrivent FCU upon the transfer of their accounts to the credit union

The official conversion takes place this coming weekend, Thrivent said this morning, with Thrivent Financial Bank's two branches in Minneapolis and Appleton, Wis. opening Dec. 3 as Thrivent FCU. The website will change Saturday.

 

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