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Three Central Ohio CUs complete unique merger
COLUMBUS, Ohio (9/17/12)--Three credit unions in the Columbus, Ohio, area have completed their strategic merger and formed Pathways Financial CU, effective Aug. 1.

Members First CU with $53.3 million assets and 7,063 members; Powerco CU, with more than $65.4 million assets and 8,202 members; and Western CU, with $68.7 million in assets and 10,281 members, received approval from the Ohio Division of Financial Institutions and the National Credit Union Administration to finalize the merger.

Pathways Financial CU has $187 million in assets and serves 25,500 members through six Central Ohio branches. Its field of membership includes employers such as American Electric Power and Motorists Insurance, as well as residents of Franklin, Delaware, Madison and Union counties.

Its branches are located in Delaware, Grandview Heights, Plain City, the Gahanna/New Albany area, West Columbus and in the American Electric Power building in downtown Columbus.

The credit union said the merger is unique because it involves three healthy, well-capitalized credit unions that decided to become partners to better serve their members and communities. Also, each branch location is co-branded with the new name of the credit union and the name of the partner credit union that operated there. The strategy helps Pathways leverage and build upon the brand equity each partner had cultivated among its members and communities.

"We collectively decided to pursue this strategy with the intention of developing a credit union business model with long-term sustainability that allows us to provide the convenience and the competitively priced financial services that our members expect and deserve," said Greg Kidwell, president of Pathways Financial CU.

The business model was structured to be an attractive merger alternative for other credit unions. "We believe that this model will appeal to other healthy mid-sized credit unions that are concerned about the prolonged downturn in the economy along with the increased competition within our industry," said Mike Shafer, Pathways Financial CEO.

Board Chairman Bill Knoles noted that the merger is the result of three years of planning by the boards and executive management of the three partner credit unions.


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