CORNERSTONE FCU MEMBERS APPROVE MERGER WITH BELCO
Harrisburg, PA (3/3/17) – On March 2, 2017, members of Cornerstone Federal Credit Union voted in favor of the merger with Belco Community Credit Union. The merger is expected to be finalized in September 2017, and will result in Belco serving nearly 65,000 members in the central Pennsylvania area, with assets exceeding $555 million.
The merger received initial approval in October 2016 from both Boards of Directors. Regulatory approvals for the merger were received in February 2017 from the PA Department of Banking and the National Credit Union Administration.
“We are excited to announce the approval of a partnership that will offer numerous advantages to both members and employees moving forward,” said Amey Sgrignoli, President/CEO of Belco. “This merger brings together two strong credit unions, positions the future credit union for continued growth, and allows us to increase our competitiveness in the marketplace. The efforts of both credit unions to get to this point emphasizes our commitment to collaboration among cooperatives to benefit our members.”
Belco and Cornerstone share a similar history, as both were originally founded to serve local telephone company employees. Belco was founded in 1939 by 25 employees of Bell Telephone Company. Today, Belco serves 54,000 members, operates 11 branch offices, and has assets of more than $450 million. Cornerstone was founded in 1974 by employees of the United Telephone Company – Eastern Group, and grew to serve over 11,000 members from three full-service branches in Carlisle and Newville, as well as a student-run branch at Big Spring High School in Newville. In 2015, assets topped $100 million.
“Belco Community Credit Union was identified as the ideal merger partner because of its shared focus on exceptional member service and community involvement, its long history of financial stability, and its willingness to allow us to preserve our local roots,” said Sam Glesner, current CEO of Cornerstone FCU, who will become part of Belco’s executive team following the merger. “Our goal was to ensure long term sustainability for our members and employees, and we are confident that this merger will accomplish that.”
The Belco Community Credit Union name will remain the same. Leaders from both credit unions are working on the details of how to preserve the Cornerstone brand and its long-standing legacy.
No branch locations will close as a result of this merger, and the approximately 200 employees of both credit unions will be retained. Over time, employees are expected to benefit from new professional opportunities as a result of the merger.
“We warmly welcome the members of Cornerstone to the Belco family, and we look forward to working with our new employees to offer added convenience and enhanced technology to our entire membership, while perpetuating the ‘people helping people’ philosophy that guides all credit unions,” added Sgrignoli.
Belco membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, volunteers or attends school in Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry or York counties. The credit union offers a full range of financial services, including traditional and high-yield checking and savings accounts, free online and mobile banking with bill payer, remote deposit, consumer loans, credit cards, retirement/investment services, mortgage loans, and more.
Credit unions are voluntary, cooperative organizations that operate as not-for-profit institutions with volunteer board of directors. Members are the owners and contribute to and democratically control the financial success of the cooperative. Credit unions typically offer better rates, fees and service than for-profit financial institutions. Credit unions were founded on seven principles grounded in the philosophy of cooperation and the central values of equality, equity and community commitment.