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Two Credit Unions in Bistate Area Will Merge

Southern Illinois Area Credit Union (SIACU) (Swansea, IL) will merge into Arsenal Credit Union (Arnold) at the end of this year, benefiting members of both not-for-profit cooperatives.

SIACU’s 1,900 members will enjoy more convenience and an expanded array of value-added products and services, while Arsenal’s 24,000 members will gain another branch they can use in southern Illinois. Plus, the merger will strengthen Arsenal by expanding and diversifying its membership and bringing in additional loans, core deposits and member relationships.

“The merger is a tremendous opportunity for both credit unions. We share a similar mission of helping people with their personal finances and giving back to the communities we draw our lives from, so it’s a natural fit,” says Linda Allen, president and CEO of Arsenal.

After receiving support from both credit union boards, the merger was subsequently approved by state and federal regulatory agencies – the Illinois Department of Financial Institutions, the Missouri Division of Credit Unions and the National Credit Union Administration. Most recently, SIACU’s membership voted in favor of it, sealing the deal.

"We considered several different merger partners, and Arsenal was clearly the best match for us,” said Mary Kamenec, president of SIACU. “Arsenal has a strong membership focus and sense of community like we do.”

The merger enables SIACU to provide more products and services to its members, such as interest-bearing checking accounts, money market deposit accounts, IRAs, mobile and text message banking, home equity loans, Go Green loans and mortgage loans. SIACU’s members will also enjoy more perks, such as rewards points on debit and credit cards, partial interest refunds on auto loans, on-the-spot financing at more dealerships, and access to many financial education resources and tools online and inside branches.

Arsenal also offers a stronger financial position for SIACU members’ future financial needs. According to NCUA Call Report data, Arsenal is financially sound and its earnings have been consistently strong over the last several years. The credit union has a four-star "Excellent" rating from Bauer Financial and is listed on the company's Recommended Credit Union Report.

Both SIACU and Arsenal have been in business for a long time – 77 and 65 years, respectively. SIACU has $8.2 million in assets, five employees and one branch. All employees will be retained.

Arsenal has grown to $185.8 million in assets, 77 employees and five branches. Its members can also access their accounts at more than 5,000 shared branches and nearly 30,000 free ATMs throughout the country.

Arsenal will be making capital improvements to the Swansea branch, starting with a free-standing, full-function drive-up ATM that will be added in early December. In addition, the Swansea branch will be set up to serve as a shared branch that members of other credit unions will be able to use.