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Missoula Federal Credit Union expands to 20 counties in western, central Montana

The new geographic expansion opens membership to individuals, businesses and organizations in Beaverhead, Broadwater, Cascade, Deer Lodge, Flathead, Gallatin, Granite, Jefferson, Lake, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Madison, Meagher, Mineral, Missoula, Park, Powell, Ravalli, Sanders, and Silver Bow counties.

It is not without challenges, Lawson said, but the credit union’s leadership intends to move forward “thoughtfully and transparently,” and in consultation with its member-owners. That includes a membership survey asking for feedback on the expansion, concerns the move creates for existing members and the possibility of a name change to better reflect the larger geographic area.

“While we are incredibly excited to reach more people with our approach to values-based banking, we also recognize that some important questions lie ahead,” Lawson said in a letter to MFCU members. “In answering them, we want to make sure we’re living out our principles of cooperative ownership, inclusion and empowerment. That starts with hearing from you.

Missoula Federal Credit Union expands FOM

Missoula Federal Credit Union, Missoula, Mont., has increased its field of membership from three counties to 20 counties in western and central Montana.

The $495 million CU posted a statement on its website saying the ability to serve a larger market “will allow us to compete more effectively.”

“Most of our competitors enjoy larger markets than does Missoula Federal Credit Union. This allows them to take advantage of more opportunities to meet customer and member needs. With this expansion, we too will enjoy these advantages. All to the benefit of our members,” the CU said. “A larger market will enable us to continue to build the financial strength of the credit union. We aim to serve future generations just as effectively as we have past generations.”

In addition to the growth opportunities, Missoula FCU cited altruistic goals: “We want to bring values-based banking to more people in the state of Montana. Our values center on cooperative ownership, being inclusive, empowering our staff and our members, and delivering positive social, economic and environmental impacts. Not all banks and credit unions share that value system. This is a difference that we want to bring to more Montanans.”