Pacific Northwest Credit Union merges with North Coast Credit Union

Two Bellingham-based credit unions are merging—North Coast Credit Union is preparing to take over Pacific Northwest Credit Union.

The merger becomes official on Thursday, Oct. 1. North Coast Credit Union is planning a grand opening for the first week of November Bellingham’s Pacific NWCU branch, which will by then be a North Coast Credit Union branch. That branch, at 3250 Northwest Ave., will be the third North Coast Credit Union location in Whatcom County. Other locations are at 1100 Dupont St., in Bellingham and 5657 Riverside Drive in Ferndale.

Pacific NWCU members voted to merge with North Coast Credit Union on Aug. 12, 2015, according to a press release.

Credit Union mergers have been increasing since 2008. One reason for this merger and others is the increasing cost and complexity of the technology and regulations required to operate, the press release said.

“Even though the credit union had strong capital and we could continue to hold our own, it had become clear to our Board of Directors that we were too small to keep pace with technology and services needed to grow,” said Karin Pelan, president of Pacific NWCU, in the news release.

“We explored a merger with several local credit unions and selected North Coast due to their strong financial health, commitment to member service and their outstanding community involvement.”

Pelan said the merger will benefit members by giving them access to more options for loans, expanded services, and additional locations and ATMs.

Pacific NWCU first opened in Bellingham in 1967. It has 2,168 members and $21,071,108 in total assets. All eight Pacific NWCU employees accepted jobs with North Coast.

Related Stories