The National Association of Realtors announced this week the merger of its Realtors Federal Credit Union (FCU) with the Northwest Federal Credit Union.
The end result of a nine-month inquiry by Bob Goldberg, the senior vice president for sales, marketing, business development and strategic initiatives at NAR, and Martin Edwards, the chairman of the board for the FCU, the partnership plans on offering numerous benefits to NAR members. Here are seven of the most notable:
- Assets – The FCU was already, at $75 million in assets in just three years, the fastest growing credit union in the U.S. in 2011, and its merger with Northwest adds $2.1 billion in assets and 60 years of experience to its ranks.
- Nuance – Northwest has a myriad of clients it services (it began servicing the CIA), so it has a unique understanding of how independent contractors, a la Realtors, function.
- Approval – The board of directors for both credit unions approved the merger unanimously, and NAR members voted for it in overwhelmingly numbers.
- High Tech – With the merger, Northwest now has access to FCU’s state-of-the-art 24/7 virtual banking system, the first of its kind for credit unions.
- Shared Responsibility – FCU members can now utilize the brick and mortar complexes that are part of Northwest’s Shared Branch Network, which allows FCU members to access 4,300 credit union branches and personally conduct their banking affairs.
- Diversify – The FCU will also have access to accounts and financial products that it could not offer. Launched during the banking crisis, the FCU’s offerings were, in the words of Goldberg, “limited,” but with Northwest, it can now offer more advanced business loans, deposits and commercial products.
- Early Edition – Goldberg said all the pieces for the merger should come together by Aug. 1 of this year, and because of that, members can begin filing for those new financial offerings now.