rss icon

Sunday, 31 August 2014 22:00

Honor Credit Union advances growth with new financial services group

Written by 
Rate this item
(1 Vote)
St. Joseph-based Honor Credit Union broke ground in August on a new 37,000-square-foot operations center in Berrien Springs that’s targeted to open in the fall of 2015. The project comes just after the credit union launched a financial services group to broaden its ability to serve customers’ needs and follows two recent transactions that expanded its geography. St. Joseph-based Honor Credit Union broke ground in August on a new 37,000-square-foot operations center in Berrien Springs that’s targeted to open in the fall of 2015. The project comes just after the credit union launched a financial services group to broaden its ability to serve customers’ needs and follows two recent transactions that expanded its geography. COURTESY RENDERING

Opening a financial services division is the latest step of a broader growth strategy for Honor Credit Union to serve a larger base of members.

Honor Financial Group launched last month and comes after the St. Joseph-based credit union closed earlier this year on the acquisition of a former Edgewater Bank branch in Decatur in Southwest Michigan and a merger with Negaunee-based SIR Federal Credit Union that has three offices in the Upper Peninsula.

Each of the moves follows a strategic vision set down five years ago when the credit union rebranded from the former Berrien Teachers Credit Union and put greater attention to growing services for consumers and small business owners, CEO Scott McFarland told MiBiz.

Creating the financial group “speaks to the fact that Honor Credit Union isn’t going to rest on its laurels,” McFarland said. The credit union previously lacked an in-house capability to provide financial services such as planning for retirement and college, investing and buying insurance.

“Our goal is to have multiple solutions available to members to meet their needs wherever they are in their stages of life,” he said. “If we support our members, they support us.”

Honor Financial Group will eventually spin off into a new credit union services organization (CUSO) that Honor Credit Union plans to form, possibly in partnership with other credit unions. Honor is presently “in discussions” with two peers about joining together in a new CUSO, McFarland said.

“We think there’s an opportunity for some partnerships. Many hands make light work,” he said. “We know that’s where the future lies, in collaboration and being an aggregator of tools so that you can find efficiencies.”

In addition to the other moves, the credit union broke ground last month on a new 37,000-square-foot operations center in Berrien Springs that’s targeted to open in the fall of 2015.

Honor Credit Union has 16 offices: 13 in Southwest Michigan, and three in the U.P. in Marquette, Negaunee and Gwinn that came with the SIR Federal merger that closed June 1.

The credit union as of June 30 had assets of $575.0 million and 54,273 members, according to a second quarter financial report filed with the National Credit Union Administration. Deposits totaled $507.0 million and the credit union had $388.0 million in total loans.

Member business loans, a focus of increased emphasis over the last five years, totaled $66.7 million at the end of the second quarter, up about 50 percent from a year ago, although a good portion of that came from the SIR Federal merger, McFarland said.

Honor recorded mid-year net income of $3.8 million, versus $2.1 million through the first six months of 2013, according to the NCUA report.

The credit union’s merger with SIR Federal, which had $84.0 million in assets and more than 10,000 members, and the acquisition of the former Edgewater Bank branch that “fit well with our other branches in this region” both came together after Honor Credit Union was approached about the possible deals, McFarland said.

At a time of consolidation within the industry — and following a deliberate growth strategy — Honor Credit Union remains interested in additional partnerships that would expand its footprint further, he said. The credit union is “constantly making sure that we don’t close doors.”

“We want to continue to bring our services to as many people as possible,” McFarland said. “We want to continue to talk about and look at options.”

The SIR Federal merger made Honor the only credit union in the state with offices in both Michigan peninsulas, McFarland noted. The two credit unions started talking about a deal when Honor was contacted about two years ago by a third-party representing the Negaunee-based credit union.

While the merger positioned Honor a long way from its home base, the two credit unions did share a similar culture and “people need financial services no matter where they live,” McFarland said.

“From our vision and our goals, it really fits,” he said. “We don’t want to put barriers in front of ourselves and say, ‘You know what, we can’t serve members because they live in whatever county.’”

Read 3497 times Last modified on Sunday, 31 August 2014 23:05

Breaking News

September 2018
S M T W T F S
26 27 28 29 30 31 1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 1 2 3 4 5 6

Follow MiBiz