Belco, Cornerstone credit unions plan to merge

Two central Pennsylvania credit unions plan to merge in the coming year.

Belco Community Credit Union, based in Swatara Township, Dauphin County, and Cornerstone Federal Credit Union, based in South Middleton Township, Cumberland County, hope to be operating as a single institution by fall 2017, they announced Thursday.

The combined entity will have about 63,000 members and $555 million in assets. Together, the credit unions hope to expand their branch and ATM networks, especially in Mechanicsburg, Gettysburg, Hanover and Carlisle.

Belco, which has $450 million in assets, has 11 branch offices and 52,000 members in Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York counties.

Cornerstone, meanwhile, has about $105 million in assets, 11,000 members and three branches in the Carlisle and Newville areas.

Amey Sgrignoli, Belco’s president and CEO, will serve as president and CEO of the combined credit union. Cornerstone’s CEO, Sam Glesner, will join its executive team.

The credit unions’ leaders do not expect any branch closure because of the merger, and they intend to keep all of their combined 200 employees.

Belco will retain its name in the merger, but officials are still working out the details of what will become of the Cornerstone brand.

“Both Belco and Cornerstone were initially founded by regional telephone employees and share a common bond and commitment to our members, employees and communities,” Glesner said in the release. “We anticipate a seamless transition for our members and employees.”

The credit unions have several steps to complete before the merger becomes official. They received initial approval from both organizations’ boards of directors in October, but they still need a green light from Cornerstone’s membership, the National Credit Union Administration and the Pennsylvania Department of Banking.

“Credit unions were founded on seven principles grounded in the philosophy of cooperation and member ownership,” Sgrignoli said in the release. “Today’s announcement underscores our commitment to collaboration among cooperatives to benefit our members.”

This merger is not the first for Belco, which has operated in central Pennsylvania since 1939. In 2014, it received state approval to merge with Our Family Federal Credit Union of Lancaster County.

Jennifer Wentz
Jennifer Wentz covers Lancaster County, York County, financial services, taxation and legal services. Have a tip or question for her? Email her at jwentz@cpbj.com.

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