Belco and Cornerstone to Join Forces
On: November 18, 2016 Filed Under: Member News
(Harrisburg, PA) November 17, 2016 – Belco Community Credit Union, headquartered in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Cornerstone Federal Credit Union, based in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, have announced their intention to join forces to provide an improved member experience and added convenience for all members.
Belco Community Credit Union and Cornerstone FCU have been growing their membership base since they were founded in Central Pennsylvania in 1939 and 1974, respectively. Once approved, this joint collaborative effort will serve approximately 63,000 members with assets of $555 million.
The opportunity to combine operational resources and talent will enable these strong regional credit unions to expand their branch and ATM network, most notably in Mechanicsburg, Gettysburg, Hanover and Carlisle, and take advantage of back-office economies of scale, including technology. A combined asset and capital base will keep rates on financial products and services low, position the credit union for continued growth, and deepen community involvement. Both Belco and Cornerstone share a charitable commitment to programs dedicated to children, families and financial literacy.
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.
Amey Sgrignoli, president/CEO, Belco Community Credit Union, will serve as president/CEO of the combined credit union. Sam Glesner, current CEO of Cornerstone FCU, will become part of the executive team.
“Credit unions were founded on seven principles grounded in the philosophy of cooperation and member ownership. Today’s announcement underscores our commitment to collaboration among cooperatives to benefit our members,” stated Amey Sgrignoli, president/CEO, Belco Community Credit Union. “We want to thank both Boards of Directors for thoughtfully planning a partnership that will offer competitive advantages to members and employees moving forward.”
The merger received initial approval in October 2016 from both Boards of Directors. Members of the Cornerstone Board of Directors will be joining Belco volunteers to serve on committees, as associate directors and as voting directors. The merger process also requires approvals by the membership of Cornerstone FCU along with the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and Pennsylvania Department of Banking. The merger is expected to be finalized by the fall of 2017.
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.
“Both Belco and Cornerstone were initially founded by regional telephone employees and share a common bond and commitment to our members, employees and communities,” said Sam Glesner, CEO of Cornerstone FCU. “We anticipate a seamless transition for our members and employees.”
Belco Community Credit Union traces its roots back to 1939, when 25 employees of Bell Telephone Company each contributed five dollars to start the new Belco Federal Credit Union. As a result of continued growth, Belco today serves 52,000 members in the seven counties of Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York from 11 branch offices. Belco has assets of more than $450 million.
Cornerstone Federal Credit Union has grown steadily since it was founded in 1974 by the employees of the United Telephone Company – Eastern Group. In 2015, assets topped $100 million. Currently, 36 credit union staff, many of whom are long-term employees, serve nearly 11,000 members from three full-service branches in Carlisle and Newville, PA. In addition, Cornerstone FCU also maintains a student-run branch at Big Spring High School, Newville, PA, where students, faculty, administrators, and staff have easy credit union access. Financial literacy opportunities in the classroom allow students to learn about responsible money management.
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 capital 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.
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