We’ve made substantial progress; however, a few important steps remain. While subject to change, if everything continues forward without major delay, here’s a general timeline:
- First half of 2024: Applying for and expectation of receiving regulatory approval.
- Last half of 2024: Campus members vote on merger following regulatory approval.
- Last half of 2024: Following a successful Campus member vote, the credit unions will legally merge.
- Remainder of 2024 into 2025: Work to combine the systems and operations of the two organizations.
As shared above, the timing is variable and it’s challenging to forecast this with high specificity. We know, based on other mergers in the industry, that it will take approximately 6-9 months to achieve regulatory and member approval and complete a legal merger. After that, we will keep all our members of the newly merged entity informed about each step in the process as we combine systems and products. We anticipate the legal merger will be completed by the latter part of 2024, with work to combine systems going into 2025.
Yes. Both Campus and Freedom 1st are exceptionally safe and strong. Both have capital exceeding the regulatory standard for “well-capitalized” credit unions, and continually operate within the regulatory definition of “safe and sound” practices. We also both have a strong liquidity position and maintain a balanced loan-to-deposit ratio. The strong safety and soundness of both credit unions only reinforced the Board’s and leadership’s interest in merging.
There will be no potential changes to accounts, loans, or online banking access until late 2024 and/or 2025. While we can’t yet relay specifics regarding accounts at this early stage, please be assured that we’ll be bringing forward the best product offerings from both credit unions. You’ll continue to enjoy the same or improved products and online banking solutions you have today.
This is still to be determined, and there will be no potential change until late 2024 and/or 2025 (if there is a change). We know how important online and mobile banking is for our members, and we will be working very carefully to determine which of our two systems best serves our members’ needs going forward. Once we have determined that, we will work closely with all the members on the other system to make the transition as smooth and seamless as possible.
Members have been asking for more products and services for some time, however, with our limited resources we have only been able to offer one or two new products per year. With the merger, we will have a whole host of new products where we can select the best from both organizations to offer going forward. So, this will mean new options for accounts and loans to better meet our members’ needs.
There will be no change to account features or fees until late 2024 and/or 2025. As a larger combined institution, Campus and Freedom 1st will continue to provide market-leading rates, low fees, and more free services to our members. While we won’t be making any account changes until at least late 2024 and don’t have these details yet, please be assured we’re focused on continuing to bring you the financial value you’ve come to expect! The rates on fixed-rate loans and certificates will remain the same until the end of their existing terms.
This has not yet been determined, however, there will be no potential change to your member number (if applicable) until late 2024 and/or 2025. It’s too early to know what changes we may need to make to current member numbers, however, if a change is necessary, we’ll keep any work on your part as minimal as possible. This means giving you plenty of advance notice, helpful guidance, and dedicated support before any change begins.
The Freedom 1st branch will not be available to Campus members until after legal merger. We know you’re excited about the additional branch location and appreciate your patience!
The Campus branches will not be available to Freedom 1st members until after legal merger. We know you’re excited about the additional branch locations and appreciate your patience!
Yes. Credit Union deposits will continue to be federally insured by the NCUA, meaning you will still have up to $250,000 in protection for an individual membership. The NCUA provides additional, separate insurance coverage for deposits held in different ownership categories such as individual accounts, joint tenancy accounts, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), and trust accounts.
How will this merger impact my insured funds, especially if I have combined deposits above $250,000? What if I have accounts at both Campus and Freedom 1st?
Members accounts will continue to be fully insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) to at least $250,000 per individual post-merger. And while we understand that insurance brings important peace of mind, you should also know that no depositor has ever lost a penny on insured accounts at any federally insured credit union in the United States. This is especially true given the exceptional financial strength of both Campus and Freedom 1st.
If a member has over $250,000, including within accounts at both credit unions, there are options for additional share insurance coverage as well, as the NCUSIF provides separate additional insurance for other accounts and ownership structures, such as individual accounts, joint accounts, individual retirement accounts and trust accounts. If you have funds exceeding $250,000 and would like the peace of mind of additional insurance, we welcome you to reach out to a member advisor as we approach the time of legal merger (or shortly after). They can provide resources that will help you determine how you’d like to structure your accounts to maximize your share insurance above $250,000. An excellent resource for members to review now is NCUA’s Share Insurance FAQ. There are also special rules that apply to mergers to the benefit of members. For example, both Campus and Freedom 1st member accounts will be separately insured for six months after the legal merger date, and in the case of Certificates of Deposit (CD), will continue to be separately insured based on the earliest maturity date after the six months period. This gives our members plenty of time to work with a member advisor to determine the best insurance coverage to meet their needs!
No, there is nothing you need to do at this time. We will not make any account improvements or changes until late 2024 and/or 2025, well after our legal merger date. It will be our top priority to make any transitions as seamless as possible. We’ll keep any work on your part as minimal as possible, giving you plenty of advance notice, helpful guidance, and dedicated support before any change begins.
No, neither credit union is taking over the other. This is a true merger of equals, with two credit unions uniting as one and bringing forward the best of both into a combined organization. The discussions and decisions to get to this point have been entirely collaborative in nature, have the unanimous support of both boards of directors (made up of Campus and Freedom 1st members) and respective leadership teams, and we’re both excited about the potential of what we can achieve together. While the new combined credit union will be named Freedom 1st Federal Credit Union and assume the Freedom 1st charter, Campus CEO Shawn Riley will continue to serve as the President & CEO. These mutually agreed upon decisions and conditions reinforce the equal manner in which we are merging and the fact Campus is not being acquired.
Following the legal merger, Campus will assume Freedom 1st’s charter, which means Campus members will vote on this merger to move forward (as required by regulation). In every credit union merger, one of the credit unions must assume the charter of the other, with it being referred to as the “continuing credit union.” This reference should be considered in the strictest legal sense (related to the charter only) and does not mean Freedom 1st is acquiring Campus ─ we will combine our assets, resources, and staff as equal partners.
Your vote is how you share your voice in this important decision. To stay relevant to current and future members and to continue fulfilling our mission and vision, we see a strategic opportunity to join forces with another credit union to accelerate our ability to serve our collective membership base, and many new members. This will significantly improve our ability to serve existing members through a new branch location, extended service hours, and new products and services, while we will also reach out to more underserved areas and populations. All of this will be available much sooner than if we didn’t merge. So, it is in all of our members’ best interests to vote in favor of the merger.
We hear you, and we want to affirm that the core values you appreciate about being a Campus member will not change. As our CEO shared in a recent letter to members, we haven’t taken the decision to consider a merger lightly. We have deep respect for Freedom 1st Federal Credit Union and the substantial impact they bring to those they serve. Just like Campus, they are a local, member-owned cooperative, and together we want to become the leader in providing financial wellness to our members and community.
Both organizations are committed to providing exceptional member service, and this will continue to be a focus for the combined organization. The same staff members you enjoy working with now and have gotten to know over the years will still be here to serve you after the merger. But you’ll also have the opportunity to meet and work with new staff at different locations and on the phone. They’ll all work hard to serve your financial needs and get to know you.
Yes! In fact, we’d be hard-pressed to find another organization that is more like (each of) us. Both credit unions have deeply held values around providing financial empowerment and advocacy for its members, supporting and fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion, and making a difference in our communities. We also share a deep commitment to better serving historically marginalized and underserved communities. We’re proudly progressive and inclusive – as financial institutions, employers, and community partners.
Yes, the name of the combined credit union will be Freedom 1st Federal Credit Union.
- Why not a new name? Both credit unions have strong and respected brands in our local market, and because of this valuable brand equity, it was much wiser to choose a known and respected name versus an entirely new name with no brand awareness. This will give us an advantage in terms of growth potential and the results we can achieve in a local market that’s very crowded.
- What happens to the Campus Credit Union name?The new combined organization will co-brand all branch locations with Freedom 1st Federal Credit Union and Campus Credit Union. Both brands have valuable brand equity and during the planning process it was decided to move forward with the co-branding concept.
- This does not mean Campus is being acquired by Freedom 1st, but simply that we’ve chosen one of the existing two names as the legal entity name. Our credit unions will together in a merger of equals.While Campus is assuming the Freedom 1st name, Campus and Freedom 1st are combining our assets, resources, staff, policies, and programs as equal partners, and in largely equal measure.