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CU System
Inspire CU start-up merges into larger CU
BATTLE CREEK and PARCHMENT, Mich. (9/18/12)--Inspire Community Development FCU in Battle Creek, Mich., a small start-up community development credit union (CDCU), merged into the larger First Community FCU in Parchment, Mich., on Aug. 31.

The $400,000 asset Inspire, which opened in 2010, was afflicted by start-up delays, eroding funds and understaffing. Those factors, along with a desire to expand its services, led to Inspire's decision to merge with a larger credit union (BattleCreekEnquirer.com Sept. 14).

First Community's commitment to serve low-income members made the $700 million asset credit union appealing to Inspire's board, when it was looking for a merger partner, Nancy Macfarlane, president of Inspire's board, told the newspaper.

Inspire offered several services geared to low-income consumers such as low-interest micro loans, automatic deposits and savings accounts. Those programs made Inspire eligible for federal funds to run under its CDCU designation, the paper said.

Because of understaffing, Inspire was only open three days a week, with limited hours, Macfarlane said.

Significant losses on the credit union's loans led the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to examine Inspire's books. Together, the credit union and NCUA decided a merger was the best path to take, Macfarlane told the paper.


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