Greylock Federal Credit Union posts strong 2019 as downturn looms (copy)

Greylock Federal Credit Union and Credit Union of the Berkshires, both based in Pittsfield, have reached an agreement on a merger, which is expected to be completed by late fall.

PITTSFIELD — Greylock Federal Credit Union and Credit Union of the Berkshires, two of Berkshire County’s oldest such financial establishments, have reached an agreement to merge, their CEOs said Monday.

The merger is subject to the approval of the Credit Union of the Berkshires’ 2,000 members, and three regulatory agencies: the National Credit Union Administration, the Massachusetts Division of Banks and the Massachusetts Credit Union Share Insurance Corp. The NCUA is the national regulatory agency for credit unions.

The merger is expected to be completed in late fall.

Pittsfield-based Greylock, the county’s largest credit union, has $1.4 billion in assets and is wholly owned by its 90,406 members. Credit Union of the Berkshires, which would become part of Greylock after the merger is finalized, has nearly $23 million in assets and is the second-largest credit union in Pittsfield.

Greylock would assume its assets after the agreement is finalized.

“We are pleased that Greylock and Credit Union of the Berkshires have reached this merger agreement,” Greylock President and CEO John L. Bissell said in a statement. “We know that the credit union difference remains strong in Berkshire County. We look forward to completing the merger and combining the resources of CUB and Greylock to help the community thrive.

“We will strive to make the transition seamless,” Bissell said.

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CUB members would be given access to all of Greylock’s services, which include 13 branches (one is closed because of the coronavirus pandemic), and 21 local ATM locations. Greylock also offers access to 60,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide, along with its recently opened Community Empowerment Center on Kellogg Street in Pittsfield.

CUB members also would receive access to Greylock’s three subsidiaries: Greylock Insurance, Greylock Investment Group and Greylock Technology Group.

CUB operates one branch, on Williams Street in Pittsfield. Greylock has four branches near that office, so it does not anticipate operating that structure as another branch.

“We will be exploring options for the best use of CUB’s existing branch on Williams Street,” Bissell said.

CUB’s membership is made up of those who live, work or attend school in Berkshire County. Greylock accepts members from Berkshire County, five municipalities in Hampden County, Columbia County in New York, and Bennington County in Vermont.

CUB was founded May 17, 1939, by a small group of Pittsfield school employees who recognized the importance of a cooperative effort, or credit union, to access credit. Greylock was chartered as the Pittsfield G.E. Employees Credit Union on Jan. 4, 1935, after it was founded by 15 General Electric Co. employees to help employees save and provide them with low-cost loans.

The credit union changed its name to Greylock in 1994, when it became a countywide organization.