Credit Union rebrands with giant growth in the plan

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 1.02.10 PMSteve’s breakdown: Ardent Credit Union is the new name  & they just won approval to re-charter as a “community” federal credit union open to residents, workers and students. You know they’ll want to crow about all this but it doesn’t look like they started yet . . .

PHILADELPHIA, PA: Sb1 Federal Credit Union, founded in 1977 to serve employees at the Philadelphia-based drugmaker now part of GlaxoSmithKline, is changing its name to Ardent Credit Union, and planning for growth, after winning National Credit Union Administration approval to re-charter as a “community” federal credit union open to residents, workers and students in Philadelphia and its four suburban Pennsylvania counties.

Ardent is the latest member-owned Philadelphia-area lender to broaden its mission beyond the founding employee group; others include Benchmark (which once focused on Wyeth employees), Citadel (Lukens Steel) and Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union.

Ardent reports around $600 million in loans and other assets, larger than most credit unions but smaller than most branch banking systems. The name Ardent is supposed to evoke “passion” for customer service, CEO Rob Werner said in a statement. The old Sb1 brand reflected the founding employer’s 1980s name, SmithKline Beckman, and its 1990s name, SmithKline Beecham.

Credit unions don’t have to pay bank taxes and generally faced less costly regulatory requirements, a big issue for small institutions squeezed by low interest rates and high compliance costs. Credit unions like Ardent seek to fill the gap left by the sale of neighborhood banks to larger lenders, while staying relevant at a time when more people bank by home computer or smartphone and don’t much visit branches..

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