Maine State Credit Union and Midcoast Federal Credit Union Announce Intent to Merge
A Partnership of Strength
We understand this announcement will generate a lot of questions. Our commitment to transparent communications through this process will be a primary focus. This page will be key in our updated communications as well as provide updated links to additional resources. Please visit our official press release, letter to our members and Frequently Asked Questions below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is happening with my credit union?
The Boards of Directors of Maine State Credit Union (MSCU) and Midcoast Federal Credit Union (MCFCU) have eagerly agreed to pursue a merger between our two credit unions. Though we are in the early stages of what will take many months to complete, we are very excited about the opportunities this presents for our members, our employees, and the communities that we serve. The process requires a significant amount of due diligence and is subject to regulatory approval from the Maine Bureau of Financial Institutions (BFI), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and an affirmative vote from the members of both Credit Unions. Upon final approval of all parties, MCFCU will unite with MSCU. While this is considered a merger from a regulatory standpoint, we view this as a partnership of strength that will ensure that the residents and businesses of Central and Mid Coast Maine will have the benefit of a strong, not-for-profit financial cooperative for generations to come.
Why is this happening?
This is a strategic decision on the part of both Credit Unions. Both institutions are financially strong, effectively managed, and well-capitalized. This partnership will empower us to lower operating costs and leverage our collective resources to enhance member value. Together, we will steward over $713 million in assets and serve more than 46,000 members from eight locations in Augusta (2), Bath, Brunswick, Edgecomb, Freeport, Thomaston, and Waterville.
As is consistent with many credit unions in Maine and across the United States, our two credit unions have a rich history of rising from humble beginnings, adjusting to changing market conditions, and recalibrating their course for their future sustainability and success. Partnerships such as the one under consideration today are common and part of both Credit Unions’ stories.
Maine State Credit Union (Assets: $514,397,215, Members: 31,107)
In 1935, the Credit Union's first charter was approved and their founding purpose still stands unaltered: "The purpose of this Credit Union is to promote thrift among its members, by affording them the opportunity for accumulating their savings, and to create for them a source of credit for loans for provident and productive purposes."
In 1944, their charter was broadened to include all state employees as potential members and they became Maine State Employees' Credit Union. In 2004, MSCU was granted a community charter to serve anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Kennebec County. In 2005, the name change to Maine State Credit Union reflected their transition to a community charter. In 2006, Maine State merged with Greater Waterville Area Federal Credit Union and opened their Waterville branch.
In 2019, the Credit Union was granted yet another field of membership expansion and today, they continue to embrace their core values as authentic, professional Mainers helping Mainers by serving the following communities and associations:
- Androscoggin, Cumberland, Kennebec, and Sagadahoc counties.
- Maine State Employees
- Maine State Employees' Association members
- Maine Housing Authority employees
- Maine Technical College System employees
- Maine State Retirement System employees
- Maine Association of Retirees members
- Retirees of groups listed above
- Individuals receiving a Maine State retirement pension
Midcoast Federal Credit Union (Assets: $209,085,906, Members: 15,399)
Chartered in 1956, by the parishioners of St. Mary’s Church in Bath, St. Mary’s FCU was formed. In 1970, the charter was expanded to serve the larger community as the name change to St. Mary’s Community FCU suggests. Another name change came in 1975 to Bath Area Community Credit Union to better reflect its field of membership. In 1986, the Credit Union merged with St. Charles FCU in Brunswick to become Midcoast Federal Credit Union. A second merger in 1991 with Fisherman’s Credit Union in Damariscotta expanded the Credit Union into Lincoln County. In 2003, another field of membership expansion brought the Credit Union to Knox County. In 2015, the field of membership was once again expanded to include communities in proximity to Freeport, in advance of its headquarters relocation. Today, Midcoast consistently delivers on its mission of empowering member and community success through financial education, technology, and service excellence to members and businesses meeting the following eligibility requirements:
Those that live, work, worship or go to school in:
- Knox, Lincoln, or Sagadahoc Counties
- The towns of Brunswick, Cumberland, Freeport, Harpswell, North Yarmouth, Pownal, or Yarmouth in Cumberland County
- The town of Durham in Androscoggin County
What will the Credit Union name be?
Upon final approval, the Maine State Credit Union name and state charter will be retained. The Midcoast FCU Board recognizes that the Maine State name possesses a strong reputation and is more inclusive of the multiple communities that will be served. It is a testament to the shared success of the partnering credit unions to have achieved a scale that can now effectively serve a region in Maine comprised of the counties of Androscoggin, Cumberland, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, and Sagadahoc, representing over 621,000 Maine residents.
Will my shares still be insured?
Your shares will continue to be insured up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration, a U.S. Government Agency.
What will happen to the employees of each credit union?
Sharing similar core values and culture, both organizations place a high priority on the well-being of their staff members; that being said there will be no layoffs as a result of the merger. The Boards of Directors are equally committed to caring for and strengthening opportunities for their employees. Both Credit Unions are perennial recipients of the Best Places to Work in Maine distinction. As a member, you will see the same friendly faces you always have and meet some new folks from each credit union.
How will this affect management?
Tucker Cole, MSCU’s current President/CEO, will continue to serve as the Chief Executive Officer and Joe Gervais, MCFCU’s current President/CEO will assume the role of President. As our Boards considered coming together, it became very obvious that our management teams were extremely compatible and eager for the chance to work together for the benefit of our members and the communities that we serve. One exciting benefit of the planned partnership is that the combined management team will be able to specialize in specific areas of the Credit Union’s operations and develop new innovative ways to serve the financial needs of our members.
What will be the composition of the Board of Directors?
Part of the strategic vision is to optimize the board structure to have balanced board representation of the membership. It is the goal of the Boards to ensure that membership is well represented from all areas of the new expanded field of membership. The skills, tenure and expertise from all current Board members is a great asset and they will continue to serve on the combined Board of Directors post-merger.
How will members benefit from this partnership?
Members from both Credit Unions will experience added value, access to new services, and additional convenience. Here are some direct benefits:
- Additional branch locations and ATM's
- Services one or the other do not currently offer including:
- Reward Checking!
- Debit card rewards and an enhanced VISA credit card program
- Expanded home loans and home equity loan offerings
- Improved auto loan programs
- Business loan and depository services
- New membership opportunities and expanded service area
- Improved disaster recovery with locations in different communities
- Ongoing and expanded community involvement efforts and events
Will hours of operation and locations remain the same?
Yes, all locations will remain open. There are no current plans to modify hours of operation.
Will my account number change?
In the short-term, your account number will remain unchanged and you will be able to continue using your current checks and debit cards. If we determine that account number changes are needed when we integrate the core processing for our credit unions, you will be notified well in advance of any changes. In addition, we will retain our current routing numbers for now. Members that have direct deposit, ACH payments or other electronic transfers will not have to make any updates for the time being.
Is there anything that I need to do now?
No action is required by you at this time. We do however encourage you to visit each Credit Unions' websites at www.mainestatecu.org or www.midcoastfcu.me and locations to learn more about our new partner. Both Credit Unions are part of the Co-Op Shared Branching network and Surf ATM Network and you are able to use their services without transaction fees.
What are the next steps?
Management will be submitting plans and applications to the financial regulators for review. We expect this process to take 6-9 months. In the meantime, everything remains business as usual. Details and updates will be provided on each website. Notification of a Meeting of Members and voting details will be forthcoming once the review process has been completed.
Where do I direct my questions?
If you have questions you can email them to ContactUs at mainestatecu dot org or MergerQuestions at midcoastfcu dot me.
We hope you will share the same excitement our boards, management team and staff members feel about the opportunities this partnership will provide for you, our valued and dedicated members! As always, we are here to answer your questions or concerns.