Qualtrust and Texas Trust Credit Unions Prep for Beneficial Merger
SAN ANGELO, TX- The Qualtrust Credit Union of San Angelo and Texas Trust Credit Union of Arlington are preparing to merge by the end of 2017. The initiative will broaden the geographic reach of their lending services, and will place San Angelo among the 17 other locations Texas Trust currently operates in Texas.
Brett Nikolauk, vice president for Qualtrust Credit Union operations, spoke of the excitement for this merger and the benefits it will bring to Tom Green County. He started by ensuring both Qualtrust locations, located at 2601 W. 306 Loop and 34 S. Main St., will not be moving in this merger.
“The only change that customers will see is a new sign,” Nikolauk said. “It will be the same staff, and the same commitment to serving San Angelo; we will just have new products for [customers] to choose from.”
He added that the merger will create an “enhanced version” of the old credit union that everyone knows, despite having a new name. As for the changes, these new services will include business lending and in-house mortgage loans. Qualtrust did not have the charter previously to provide these services in Tom Green County.
“Texas Trust has expert staff who focus on these types of loans, so we can learn to help with this service,” Nikolauk said. “All of these [changes] are going to be new to us.”
Additionally, these services will open up new opportunities for Nikolauk’s staff to grow in their career path.
“This [merger] just means our staff will be part of a bigger story,” he added. “Nobody’s fearful of the change.”
The premise of a credit union is to provide lending services to members who are invested in the growth of the credit union. These investments are provided through savings and checking accounts, as well as lending services. The most popular types of loans offered by Qualtrust are auto lending and personal loans.
“They lend money to get money; it’s a retail operation,” Nikolauk said. “Now there’s nothing wrong with that; a credit union is a similar group of people who are willing to help each other out.”
This statement was in reference to the “co-operative” effort that farmers would use to invest in agriculture back when credit unions first started forming.
History and Mission
The mission of Texas Trust Credit Union is similar to that of Qualtrust. Both companies want to help out in the communities they are part of and improve the financial investment of their members. By working together, Qualtrust management believes the expanded services will help their members in Tom Green County as well.
“Like Qualtrust, Texas Trust also shares a history of outstanding service and community involvement, which is important to our members,” said John DiChiaro, president of Qualtrust Credit Union. “Our members will benefit from more choices in products and services, as well as being part of one of the most respected and top-performing credit unions in Texas.”
Qualtrust began on June 7, 1948 as San Angelo Telco Federal Credit Union. It started with only six members and $35.00 in cash, according to the Qualtrust website. Today, the credit union has 10,000 members in Tom Green County, and is part of a collective asset of $200 million between four other branches in Las Colinas, Mound, Flower and Bedford. These branches are also participating in the merger later this year.
Texas Trust Credit Union was created in 1936 when a group of Chance Vought Aircraft Corporation employees pooled their savings so they could help one another achieve their financial goals. Today, more than 84,500 members are served through checking and savings accounts, loans, and credit card services. In addition, the credit union's assets total $1 billion.
The combined credit union will have assets in excess of $1.2 billion and more than 105,000 members throughout 21 locations, making it one of the largest credit unions in Texas and the U.S.
“After careful consideration, the boards and management teams of both credit unions collectively determined that we can achieve more together for our members than we can on our own,” Jim Minge, president and CEO of Texas Trust Credit Union, said. “Together we can deliver greater value to our members, who are our number one priority.”
In the mid 1980s, there was a similar merger with the Shannon Credit Union and Qualtrust, known as General Telco Federal Credit Union at the time, Nikolauk added.
“Our name has changed because we represent a lot of folks in the Tom Green County area,” he added.
Opportunities for Tom Green County
Texas Trust has a strong commitment towards community outreach. One service it provides is the “Spirit Debit Rewards” program. With every swipe of an eligible SDR card, funds are donated to the school or district of a member’s choosing. To date, Texas Trust has donated over $1.3 million since August 2011, according to the Texas Trust website.
“Every time members swipe their card, a donation is made to the school or organization associated with it,” Nikolauk said. “It’s a really neat program, and I will be proud to be part of it.”
Nikolauk's goal going forward is to keep his staff focused on providing the same service until the merger officially happens.
“We want to take care of our members because the changes out here are only going to be enhancements,” he added. “The employees are really excited about the merger overall.”
He also said he considers the Qualtrust credit union as being part of a family, and this merger will provide an extension of that family.
“Minge considers the members and staff in Texas Trust as family members as well,” Nikolauk said. “We are going to merge our families together and continue to provide the services that we do, but in a better way."
Texas Trust is one of the largest credit unions in North Texas and the 18th largest in the state. It serves members in Dallas, Tarrant, Henderson, Ellis, and Johnson counties through 17 locations in Mansfield, Arlington, and Grand Prairie, to name a few.
Click here to find more information about Texas Trust and the merger.