An Asheville credit union expands its presence
(Mountain XPress) The merger of the Self-Help and United Services credit unions means that come July 1, members of both institutions will be able to access their accounts at nearly two dozen branches across the region. Both organizations are member-owned nonprofits. It’s the latest step by Self-Help to expand its presence across a market where bank lending remains selective, says Regional Director Jane Hatley, a former longtime loan officer there. “People are still hurting,” she notes, adding that Self-Help has made businesses loans for as little as $500. Announced last October, the merger came after United Services had spent about a year and a half in negotiations with other credit unions in Western North Carolina. “We were looking to partner up with folks who have a similar vision as ours,” says CEO Bill Carrington. United Services has about 11,000 members and seven locations, most of them in WNC. The merger did not result in any layoffs or branch closures by either organization. Under the agreement, United Services will change its name to Self-Help; signs at its branches will be changed in the coming months. In 2009, Self-Help merged with the Carolina Mountains Credit Union, which had about 7,000 members at the time. That institution will also now bear Self-Help’s name.
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