ABQ-based credit union to acquire northern New Mexico institution

June 4 – ALBUQUERQUE, NM – A merger between Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union and Animas Credit Union is expected to become official on July 1, according to an SLFCU spokeswoman.

The merger, which began last summer, will add three branches to SLFCU and is expected to be completed in summer 2022. The deal was approved by ACU members in April.

“It just gives us great opportunities to continue to expand our footprint or our business model to benefit more consumers in the state,” said SLFCU CEO Robert Chavez.

Two of the new branches will be in Farmington and one in Bloomfield, Chavez said.

“It’s an opportunity to diversify a bit geographically,” he said.

Prior to the merger, SLFCU had no location in northern New Mexico.

Over the next year, the two banks will work to consolidate accounts in the SLFCU system and the old Animas sites will be temporarily named “Animas Credit Union, a division of SLFCU,” spokeswoman Melissa Stock said.

But once the merger is completed next summer, the name will be fully transferred to SLFCU and former ACU members will be able to enjoy all the benefits of the bank.

“The benefits are quite extensive,” Chavez said.

Former ACU members will have access to better loan pricing, higher dividends, lower fees, more ATMs and better technology, Chavez said.

He said some of the biggest benefits relate to lower loan rates for auto loans and more mortgages.

Most member services will be available in July, but Chavez said services such as the online banking tool will not be available until the merger is complete.

Businesses could also benefit.

“(Animas Credit Union has) a relatively small business loan portfolio,” he said. “So we think we can complete that quite significantly in this community.”

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