Boulder-based Elevations Credit Union had hoped to be the first Colorado credit union to buy a bank with their potential deal to purchase assets from Cache Bank and the Trust of Greeley.
But Regulators got in the way refuse the deal. Instead, Blue Federal Credit Union, based in Cheyenne, Wyoming, will be the first to buy Colorado bank customers and convert them into members of the credit union.
How announced in the last few days, Blue Federal will buy assets from two Colorado branches of Liberty Savings Bank – in Denver and Granby – and turn customers into credit unions. The deal is set to close on February 21, making Blue Federal a $ 1.2 billion institution with 91,000 members. It has offices in Boulder, Broomfield, Fort Collins, Lafayette, and Wellington, Colorado.
Stephanie Teubner, President and CEO of Blue Federal, was quick to point out at a news conference Thursday in Loveland that her credit union will be the first in Colorado and Wyoming to undertake a bank takeover. And the reason she was able to close the deal was because both Blue Federal and Liberty Savings Bank are federally chartered, rather than state-chartered like Elevations and Cache.
“We live according to the federal charter, not the state charter,” said Teubner. As a result, Blue Federal only required approval from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the National Credit Union Administration. Heights and Cache require these permits as well as the approval of the Colorado Division of Financial Services and Colorado Division of Banking. At the state level, the Colorado Bankers Association has influence, and it has spoken out against the Elevations / Cache deal.
Elevations and Cache are open to appeal the decision but have not announced what they will do.
As for Blue Federal, “It took a tremendous amount of work over the course of a year,” said Teubner.
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