BlueOx Credit Union's Strategic Merger With Ignite Credit Union
BlueOx Credit Union is excited to announce their plans to merge with Ignite Credit Union pending regulatory approval and a membership vote. If approved, the combined organization will operate under the unified brand name, Ignite Credit Union, but will continue to keep their individual names. Under this model, BlueOx would become “BlueOx Credit Union, a Division of Ignite Credit Union.”
As we continue to work on this merger, we want you to know that we are committed to providing you with the important news and updates you need, as well as answering any questions you may have.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does This Announcement Mean?
This exciting announcement means that BlueOx Credit Union is moving forward with a proposed merger with Ignite Credit Union. This merger represents a strategic partnership between two forward-thinking, healthy credit unions for the benefit of members, employees, and the communities we serve.
What Does "Strategic" Merger Mean?
Mergers can be initiated for many reasons. The primary reason for a strategic and/or collaborative merger is to better serve members by providing greater value than we would as separate organizations.
In this case, we are merging two healthy credit unions. The goal of both organizations is to build a combined entity that leverages best practices if/when possible and achieves greater economies of scale to ensure we can continue to offer the best service, products, and technologies to members.
Employees benefit from strategic mergers as well, from professional growth opportunities to establishing best practices, best systems, and best processes that help ensure employees have more resources available to do their jobs.
Why Does the Board of Directors Recommend the Merger?
Although mergers have not been our primary growth strategy, several years ago, we did formalize a merger strategy as part of our overall business plan. A merger between our two organizations provides the opportunity to implement best practices to achieve more positive member, employee, and community impact and value. As a result of this partnership, we would grow our branch network to 11 branches across Michigan. This partnership would give us the ability to be more responsive to members and financial needs in a highly competitive financial services sector that continues to evolve rapidly.
Do Both Credit Unions Support the Merger?
Absolutely. The boards of both credit unions approved the proposed merger unanimously and are very excited about this merger with the growth and benefits it brings to our members, employees, and communities.
What Would This Partnership Do for the Credit Unions?
Overall, our combined assets would be more than $376M, serving 32,000+ members with 11 branches in Michigan. With a competitive physical presence and our combined strengths in products, services, and technology offerings, we would be able to better serve our members and our communities.
What Are the Advantages of Being a Larger Credit Union?
Becoming a larger credit union would provide opportunities to leverage resources and position us for continued growth. In turn, this would result in being able to provide even more benefits to members in the form of more product and service access and new and robust technologies and services while continuing BlueOx Credit Union’s ongoing community presence.
Why Was Ignite Chosen as Our Merger Partner?
We wanted to find a partner that matched our passion, aligned closely with our mission, shares a dedication and loyalty to their membership and the communities they serve, and is similar in employee commitment. Both credit unions share a deep dedication to team members, members, and the communities we serve and share a common vision for the future of the combined credit union. Another amazing benefit of this partnership is that both credit unions are on the same core system, and combining our two organizations will cause minimal to no member disruptions.
Who is Ignite Credit Union?
Ignite Credit Union is the overarching brand that was created when Allegan Credit Union and Rivertown Credit Union merged. All brands under the Ignite Credit Union umbrella operate as their own unique brand to serve their members. To learn more, visit www.ignitecreditunion.com
What Does This Merger Mean for Members?
The strategic merger between our two organizations would provide the opportunity to achieve more positive member impact and value, such as:
More Member Access
A larger branch footprint would allow us to have more impact on existing members. But bigger than that, through this partnership, we would gain more resources allowing us to serve more members and have a deeper impact in the communities we serve.
As a larger organization, we would achieve greater economies of scale, which would allow us to offer an even more robust product and service line, reduce costs, and ultimately return more value to members.
More Responsive to Evolving Financial Needs
In a highly competitive financial services industry, combining our strengths would allow us to continue to enhance our product, service, and digital banking offerings.
Enhance Electronic Banking Products
This partnership would allow us to constantly assess and improve our technology solutions and make sure we’re providing “the best” digital banking solutions we can for members now and into the future.
More Branch Locations
Together, we would have 11 branches to serve members.
Same Knowledgeable, Friendly Employees
The same friendly staff at our branches would continue to be available to serve members.
Would My Accounts and Rates Be Affected?
The rates on fixed-rate loans and certificates would remain the same until the end of their existing terms. Other products would adjust as normal due to market conditions.
Would My Account or Routing Number Change?
For now, everything will stay the same. Prior to any required changes, BlueOx will notify membership.
Would My Accounts Continue to Be Federally Insured?
Yes. Rest assured that your savings with the combined credit union will continue to be federally insured by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF). Information regarding NCUA insurance and a calculator to help determine your coverage is available at www.mycreditunion.gov/estimator.
Would You Close Branches?
There are no plans for any branch closures. In fact, this merger would provide the opportunity to expand our branch locations and enhance our digital member experience. Ignite branches would not be available to BlueOx Credit Union members immediately. As the merger progresses, we will announce when these locations will be available for members.
Would I Continue to Get the Same Service and Attention?
Yes. Both credit unions are committed to providing high levels of service for members, and this would continue to be a focus for the combined credit union.
Would the Field of Membership Change?
No. Today, both credit unions serve everyone who lives in the state of Michigan. This would remain the same for the combined organization.
Would the Change in the Field of Membership Affect My Membership?
All BlueOx Credit Union members would automatically become members of the combined credit union. Once a member, always a member.
Would Any Employees Lose Their Jobs as a Result of the Merger?
No. Both credit unions recognize the importance of retaining talented and dedicated team members and that a successful merger is dependent on retaining that talent and leadership.
How Will This Merger Benefit the Credit Union Employees?
This partnership would provide employees with more career development opportunities and specialization, all while maintaining a positive culture that encourages teamwork and focuses on providing members with top-notch financial products and services.
What Would the Credit Union Name Be?
Legally, our name would remain Ignite Credit Union, and we would continue to maintain individual brand names in the combined organization. We would operate as: “BlueOx Credit Union, a division of Ignite Credit Union.”
Who Would Lead the Organization?
Kristopher Lewis, President/CEO of Ignite, will be the CEO, and Steven Cobb, President/CEO of BlueOx, will be the President of the new organization.
Do Blueox Members Vote?
No. The proposed merger requires the approval of a majority of the members of Ignite Credit Union who vote on the proposal. BlueOx members are not required to vote. But if you do have any questions, please reach out to the BlueOx staff.
What Is the Merger Process?
To complete the merger process, we must receive approval from three sources: our boards, our regulators, and Ignite members. In October, the boards of both credit unions unanimously approved and signed a merger agreement, and we recently filed a merger application with regulators for approval, which is required before an Ignite membership vote occurs.
When Would the Merger Be Complete?
It is anticipated that all approvals will be complete sometime in the third quarter of 2024. The tentative date we’re targeting is July 1, 2024. On this date, we would become one from a legal standpoint. However, this is not the date on which all the operational processes change. The process of completing system and process integration would extend into 2025.
If you have any questions or concerns that are not addressed in the FAQs above, please feel free to email us at email@example.com. We will do our best to answer any questions you may have. Thank you for your membership with BlueOx Credit Union.Go to main navigation