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On June 10, 2021, Solano First Federal Credit Union Members overwhelmingly voted in favor of merging with Valley Strong Credit Union. We are excited to welcome the Solano First Members and team members to the Valley Strong family.
What happens next? After the legal merger date of July 1, we will begin working on an integration process with a goal of having Solano First’s systems fully joined with ours by the first part of October. Once the two credit unions are completely integrated, all branches will operate as Valley Strong, which means even more branching options in California to grow your possibilities.
Meanwhile, current Valley Strong Members will see no changes during or after the transition period. It will be business as usual.
Thank you for being a Member at Valley Strong. If you have any questions, please contact us at (800) 221-3311.
Solano First and Valley Strong Merger FAQ’s
Why are Solano First Federal Credit Union and Valley Strong Credit Union merging?
A merger between Solano First and Valley Strong provides the opportunity to achieve more positive Member, team member, and community impact. Together, we have the ability to remain competitive and be more responsive to Members' financial needs.
What will this partnership do for the organizations?
Combined assets will be more than $2.5 billion, serving more than 160,000 Members with 21 branches. With an expanded physical presence, we’ll be able to better serve our Members, prospective Members, and our communities.
How will the merger affect Solano First and Valley Strong Members?
There are no immediate operational changes. Eventually, Solano First will convert to Valley Strong Credit Union’s name and operating system to enhance capabilities and deliver a more robust product and service line to Members. Rest assured as that time approaches, both credit unions will work to ensure a seamless integration.
Will my accounts continued to be insured?
Yes. Credit Union deposits will continue to be federally insured by the NCUA, meaning you have up to $250,000 in protection for an individual account. The NCUA provides separate insurance coverage for deposits held in different ownership categories such as individual accounts, joint tenancy accounts, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and trust accounts.
Will my rates and fees change?
The rates on fixed-rate loans and certificates will remain the same until the end of their existing terms. Other products will adjust as normal due to market conditions. With that said, one of the many benefits this merger will provide is better, more competitive rates.
Will I continue to receive the same service and attention?
Yes. Both Credit Unions are committed to providing high levels of service for Members and this will continue to be a focus for the combined organization.
Will there be a Member vote?
Only Solano First Members will vote, as their credit union will be absorbed into Valley Strong. Members of Valley Strong will not vote as the benefactors of the change.
What is the Merger timeline?
It is anticipated that all voting and approvals will be complete by legal day one, which is expected by July 1, 2021. At that point, we will become one organization. However, this is not the date in which all of the operational processes will change. The full process of merging core systems, products and services will extend into the 4th quarter of 2021.
Will any employees lose their jobs and/or will any branch locations close?
Both organizations recognize their talented and dedicated team members and that a successful merger is dependent on retaining that talent. Our desire is to retain the existing staff; and there will be a concerted commitment and effort to do just that. There are also no current plans for branch closures. In fact, this merger will provide the opportunity to expand our branch locations.
Who will lead the organization?
Nick Ambrosini will be President/CEO of Valley Strong as of July 1, 2021. The Valley Strong Board will retain all 11 Board of Directors positions of the combined Board. Mike Warrell, current President/CEO at Solano First, will become a Market President at Valley Strong, and will continue to be actively involved with the Credit Union’s day-to-day operations.
About Valley Strong Credit Union
Named one of America's Best Credit Unions and "Second in California" by Forbes Magazine in their 3rd annual "Best-In-State Banks and Credit Unions,” Valley Strong was formed in 1938 by a small group of dedicated and concerned teachers who met for the purpose of forming a financial cooperative for school employees and their families. From these humble beginnings, Valley Strong has grown and currently serves 150,000+ Members that represent more than $2.4 billion in assets.
About Solano First Federal Credit Union
Solano First Federal Credit Union was chartered in 1956. Solano First has reached over $175 million in assets, has nearly 10,000 Members, and is the largest financial institution exclusively serving Solano County residents and organizations.