75 Interesting Credit Union Name Changes in 2009

Callahan & Associates, the credit union industry’s leading analytics firm and publishers of CreditUnions.com, have just released their 2010 Credit Union Directory. Comparing this year’s directory against last year’s, The Financial Brand has noted 75 substantive name changes.

Some of these name changes may be due to mergers, but most frequently, credit unions change names for one of these three reasons:

  1. The credit union’s primary sponsor has disappeared, or dwindled to such a point that it can no longer sustain membership.
  2. The credit union feels its name is geographically limiting and/or exclusive to certain types of people (e.g., teachers).
  3. The credit union can no longer use another organization’s brand name. This is typically triggered by a request from the primary sponsor’s lawyers, but sometimes by another financial institution asserting trademark rights.

From this year’s new names:

  • 11 credit unions included the word “Community”: Arlington Community, Champion Community, Community, Community Driven, Memberfocus Commmunity, My Community, NMTW Community, Prestige Community, Total Community, Valley One Community and Vue Community.
  • 7 reduced their names to acronyms: CEFCU, CSE, MaPS, MCT, ME/CU, NMTW and USE.
  • 7 are coined names: Altana, Aventa, Cinfed, Genisys, Meritrust, TruStone and Vue Community.
  • 3 use the number “one”: Alabama One, Metro 1 and Valley One Community.
  • 3 credit unions ditched the word “First” in their name, while one put it in: University First.
  • 2 credit unions used alphanumeric constructions: Med5 and Metro 1.

It might be time to update The Financial Brand’s list of The Top 50 Most Distinctive Credit Union Names. Which ones do you think belong in the list?

Further Reading: Anyone in the financial marketing arena should know “How to Look Up a Financial Trademark in 10 Easy Steps.” And here are some of other stories about credit union name changes as reported here at The Financial Brand:

Also, please contact The Financial Brand for your copy of “The Credit Union Guide to The Name Change Decision,” a comprehensive, 33-page analysis of the strategic renaming issues that apply to any financial institution considering a name change.

New Name Former Name Assets
Access of Louisiana Olin Employees L.C. 23,957,101
Aero Honeywell Aerospace 188,728,340
Air Line Pilots Association ALPA 173,653,482
Alabama One The Credit Union of Alabama 555,068,560
Aloha Aloha Airlines 27,732,128
Altana Avanta 194,173,497
Arlington Community Arlington Virginia 184,221,737
Aspire FAA Eastern Region 182,560,814
Aventa Colorado Springs 130,716,494
Best Reward Reward One 105,868,976
Bridgeway DOT 59,581,748
Cal State C U Of The North Bay Cal State Central 100,616,334
CEFCU Citizens Equity First 4,146,031,206
Centric Forest Kraft 85,365,635
Champion Community Champion Alabama Employees 39,209,042
Chief Financial Chief Pontiac 106,449,575
Cinfed Cin Fed Employees 281,639,448
Community Community Educators 340,742,774
Community Driven M P G Community 56,461,073
Corner Post Wilkes-Barre Postal 54,501,638
CSE Canton School Employees 109,971,421
Delta Schools Antioch Schools 28,862,560
Eastside Family Leo XIII K C 26,502,742
Encompass Steel Parts 98,330,842
Encore UOP 32,644,401
Extra Metro 205,076,871
FocalPoint NPG Employees 51,755,158
Fox Valley Aurora Burlington 20,623,581
Freedom Of Maryland Freedom 226,247,620
Genisys USA 1,298,131,823
Greater Springfield Springfield Mass. Municipal Em 112,721,214
HeritageWest Tooele 300,895,668
Hidden River Schuylkill County School Emplo 105,483,954
Hoosier Hills Spencer County Co-op 317,252,013
Independence Parkway Soltex 24,009,758
Magnify Community First 102,731,437
Main Street Financial LA DOTD 107,610,630
MaPS Marion and Polk Schools 349,164,166
MCT Montgomery County Teachers 414,626,807
ME/CU Municipal Employees Credit Uni 98,623,759
Med5 Rapid City Medical 33,500,879
Media Members Phil. Inquirer & Daily News Emp. 40,100,157
Memberfocus Community Dearborn Schools 82,760,898
Meridian Ottumwa School Employees 26,650,365
Meritrust Boeing Wichita 637,647,382
Metro 1 First Metropolitan 198,627,458
Milestone Birmingham Post Office 21,695,864
My Community Midland Community 233,477,847
NMTW Community Northern Mass. Telephone Workers 449,007,906
Piedmont Advantage Piedmont Aviation 238,320,389
Plus IBEW Plus 116,599,262
Premier Financial La-Tec 63,698,302
Prestige Community Galleria 55,320,326
Puget Sound Eastside 32,886,521
Secured Advantage Cryovac 71,737,179
Security Lapeer County Community 359,181,006
SharePoint Retail Employees 171,739,726
South Central South Central State Employees 47,795,522
South Texas Area Resources STAR 39,085,576
Southwest Michigan Kalamazoo District Bell 70,511,587
Summit Great Wisconsin 1,362,357,219
Texas Plains Plains Bell 26,704,814
The Partnership FDIC 107,252,220
Total Community Taylor Community 45,034,035
Tri-rivers Montgomery Teachers 21,909,357
Trust Intrust 33,301,665
TruStone Financial Teacher 623,004,532
Union Yes Building Trades 58,857,008
University First University Of Utah 550,434,216
USE U. S. Employees 73,361,048
Utah Heritage Moroni Feed 40,076,421
Valley One Community Numerca Community 29,529,870
Veritas Nissan 40,863,807
Vue Community St. Alexius Community 29,128,239
Wildfire Communications Family 512,703,797

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