Banking & Finance

Seven Seventeen to Acquire Kent Credit Union

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WARREN, Ohio – Seven Seventeen Credit Union will acquire the Kent Credit Union, the credit unions announced Wednesday and, pending regulatory approval, should complete their merger Nov. 1.

In addition to increasing its assets pro forma by $43 million, the acquisition would give Seven Seventeen a physical presence in Summit County and 7,400 more members.

Kent Credit Union said it could no longer afford to absorb the increasing costs of the technology needed to offer the array of products and services others provide and absorb the rising expense of regulatory compliance.

Speaking for his board, Kent President and CEO Joseph Crawfis said, “We felt our membership would be best served by a larger credit union that had the resources to not only provide the latest technologies, but to handle the skyrocketing cost of doing business in the current regulatory environment. Seven Seventeen has a reputation for being progressive and member-focused.”

The Kent Credit Union approached Seven Seventeen about joining forces, the announcement said. After performing due diligence, both determined both parties would benefit.

Seven Seventeen, the largest credit union in northeastern Ohio, has assets of $860 million and 67,000 members. It has 22 ATMs (Kent offers two) and 10 branches. Seven Seventeen belongs to a national ATM shared network that reimburses its customers any foreign-ATM transaction fees they incur; Kent members would benefit from this product, a Seven Seventeen spokesman said.

Kent Credit Union has an office in Kent where it was founded 51 years ago to serve the employees of that city school district. The office sits within a mile of the Seven Seventeen branch in Portage County.

No decision has been made on which, if either, might close after Nov. 1, the announcement said.

Seven Seventeen would offer the members of Kent interest-bearing checking accounts, free debit cards and free personalized debit cards, a Seven Seventeen spokesman said, allow them to enroll in Seven Seventeen rewards programs and earn higher rates of interest on savings products.

Seven Seventeen offers commercial lending, which Kent does not, and remote capture that allows both consumers and businesses to deposit paper checks into their accounts. Through the Seven Seventeen Retirement and Investment Group, the Warren-based credit union offers investment products.

Assuming the merger goes through, membership in Seven Seventeen would be available to anyone who lives, is employed, attends school or worships in Trumbull, Mahoning, Columbiana, Portage, Summit and central Stark counties.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.