GREAT FALLS, Mont. (8/1/08)--1st Liberty CU, Great Falls, Mont., is the first credit union in the state to join CO-OP Shared Branching. “With members in all 50 states, we need to have extensive reach,” said Steve Grooms, 1st Liberty president/CEO. “We want to give members as many ways to reach us as possible.” 1st Liberty will open two of its branches to guest members of more than 1,500 participating credit unions while expanding access for its members who work, live or travel outside of the credit union’s proprietary branch network. The $119 million-asset credit union has 10 branches--eight in Montana and two in North Dakota. Two are on Air Force bases. 1st Liberty also uses the CO-OP Network, which offers its members access to more than 25,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide.