SEATTLE (8/10/09)--Boeing Employees CU (BECU) in Seattle is no longer operating branches in Safeway stores in Thurston County. Instead, the credit union has consolidated those operations into a new stand-alone branch that opened Aug. 1. The Safeway branches were closed in west Olympia and in Lacey at the end of July. The stores still have BECU ATMs, BECU spokesman Todd Pietzsch told the newspaper (The Olympian Aug. 7). He said that credit union members can access their accounts through a shared branching network. Closing the former Safeway branches that were small made sense because the new branch is larger and is in a high-growth area, Pietzsch said. Some BECU members told the newspaper that they were happy about the new branch because it was nicer than previous locations. One member also said he didn’t mind driving the extra distance to get to the new branch. BECU is still operating some locations in Safeway stores in other parts of the state, including Tacoma, Puyallup and Bonney Lake.