EAU CLAIRE — A smaller central Wisconsin credit union will become part of Royal Credit Union in a merger slated to complete this summer.
On Monday the boards of directors for Peoples Choice Credit Union and RCU each voted unanimously on the merger agreement, according to a news release from RCU.
“We recognized the opportunity that merging with Peoples Choice provides to bring Royal’s value proposition and community involvement to an area of central Wisconsin that is a logical expansion because of its close proximity to our highly successful Colby branch,” stated Brandon Riechers, RCU president and CEO.
The Medford-based Peoples Choice serves members in Chippewa, Clark, Price, Taylor and Rusk counties — territory that RCU also covers. Peoples Choice Credit Union has $50 million in assets and 5,000 members served by its Medford office and a branch in Gilman.
RCU has more than 230,000 members between the 26 counties it serves in western Wisconsin and 16 counties in eastern Minnesota. Its 2021 fact sheet states the Eau Claire-based credit union has $3.4 billion in assets.
Financial terms of the merger were not available to the public on Wednesday. The merger is pending standard regulatory approvals before it can be completed. When the merger is finished, Peoples Choice Credit Union members will become part of RCU.
RCU is well-positioned to serve Peoples Choice members, Tom Judnic, chairman of Peoples Choice’s board of directors, said in a news release.
“We are working with Royal to ensure a smooth transition for our valued members,” Judnic stated.
The two credit unions have similar origins as each started out by serving employees of a local company before growing into larger institutions with customers in numerous communities. Peoples Choice began in 1940 to serve employees of Hurd Millwork Corp. and their families. RCU was started in 1964 by employees of Uniroyal Tire Co. in Eau Claire.
RCU’s most recent expansion via merger or acquisition was in 2016 by buying a Capital Bank branch in St. Paul, Minn. During the 2010s, RCU completed four mergers and acquisitions to grow its presence in western Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota, according to a list provided by the credit union.