Gesa merges with Inspirus

A planned merger of Gesa Credit Union and Seattle-based Inspirus Credit Union recently received approval from state and federal regulators.

And Inspirus Credit Union members voted in favor of merging with Gesa on July 23.

The official merger date is Aug. 1, and Inspirus Credit Union will begin operating as a “division of Gesa Credit Union.”

Credit union officials promise “business as usual” at all branch locations.

Gesa’s Chief Executive Officer Don Miller will serve as CEO of the merged credit unions; Inspirus’ CEO Scott Adkins will stay on as a senior executive.

It has not yet been determined if the merger will result in a name change.

“Inspirus and Gesa are proud of their individual brands but recognize it may not serve the purposes of a newly-created, statewide credit union,” according to a public relations official handling communication on the merger.

Credit union officials plan to conduct brand research to come up with “the most appropriate and unifying name” for the organization.

Calling the merger a “strategic partnership,” Miller said, “it will provide long-term growth and sustainability and it will allow us to continue to be a strong, viable financial organization. It will provide opportunities to our members and to our employees, our teammates.”

Members and employees of Gesa and Inspirus are promised access to more branches, as well as new technology and products that may not be currently offered.

No branch closures or layoffs are planned.

The ability to use additional branches will affect Inspirus members the most, as the credit union has six branches, while Gesa has 17, with half in the Tri-Cities.

Members’ account numbers aren’t expected to change in the short term, but that could happen by the completion of a full system integration, planned for mid-2020.

The merger also is touted as a chance to “provide opportunities to increase efficiencies and return those savings right back to members in greater value, new technology and services, competitive loan and deposit rates, and higher community giving.”

Gesa has nearly 159,000 members and 500 employees. Inspirus has about half of the membership and 150 employees.

“There are so many things about our two organizations that align: an absolute commitment to our membership and to our teammates who serve the members,” Miller said.

Combined, the two credit unions gave back nearly $1.5 million in a single year to the communities they serve.

Overall, the combined asset size of the integrated organization will be $3.5 billion. This includes a branch network of 23 in all, with plans for expansion.

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