Janesville68°

Credit union buys bank building

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JAMES P. LEUTE
October 13, 2011
— A Beloit-based credit union with a solid business in the Janesville area will become much more visible in the community by the end of the month.

First Community Credit Union recently bought the former Evergreen State Bank, 2701 N. Pontiac Drive.


State regulators closed Evergreen in January and appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as a receiver. The FDIC then signed an agreement with McFarland State Bank to assume the deposits of Evergreen but not the ownership of Evergreen's four branches.


McFarland operated the Janesville branch for six months as required by the FDIC, then closed it, and the FDIC put it on the market.


"We were looking for another solution in Janesville," said Jack Gill, president of First Community Credit Union. "With the economy, we didn't really want to buy or build, and the FDIC made it available to us in a situation that's cost effective for us.


"It's really a great property, and we're excited about opening it up."


Since merging with the Janesville Municipal Employees Credit Union about three years ago, FCCU has operated a branch at 21 S. Jackson in downtown Janesville, the Kealey Pharmacy and Home Care building.


FCCU recently announced its merger with the Rock County Employees Credit Union.


Gill said the two mergers require a larger office in Janesville, and the former Evergreen bank fits the bill with considerably more space, three drive-up lanes and a 24-hour ATM.


The credit union plans to open the location by the end of the month.


"It's a good opportunity for us to come into the market," Gill said. "We already have pretty good penetration there, as we do a lot of the (auto) dealership financing.


"It's a great building, and we want to put our best foot forward and maintain our image as the top-rated credit union in southern Wisconsin."


Gill was referring to recent ratings that gave First Community an A-minus (excellent) from Weiss Ratings, five stars (superior) from Bauer Financial and four stars (sound) from Bankrate.com.


The credit union has more than 14,000 members, assets of nearly $80 million and additional offices in Monroe and Machesney Park, Ill.


First Community got its start in 1933 with 25 employees of the Fairbanks Morse Corp. in Beloit. Membership is open to anyone who lives or works in the Wisconsin counties of Rock, Green, Dane and Walworth or the Illinois counties of Winnebago, Boone and Stephenson.



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