Below are the answers to some of the questions you may have.  Don’t see your question and answer here?  Submit your question here via email or call 334-793-3667 ext 252.

What has been proposed to take place between Wiregrass FCU and Army Aviation Center FCU?

The Boards of Directors from both credit unions have approved a merger between the two credit unions.  In short, Wiregrass FCU (Wiregrass) would merge into Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union (AACFCU).  All Wiregrass members would become members of AACFCU and have access to all of AACFCU’s products, services, branches, and technology.

Who is Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union?

AACFCU was initially chartered in 1966 to serve the troops and families at Fort Rucker, Alabama.  Membership has since expanded to include local communities in Alabama and Florida. They hold the same core values as Wiregrass and are dedicated to providing real value and outstanding service to all their members.  Since its founding, AACFCU has grown to more than 100,000 members and $1.2 billion in assets.

In conjunction with this proposed merger, the two credit unions are exploring the option of a new name that captures the spirit of the combined entity.

Is either credit union in financial trouble?

No.  In fact, both credit unions are financially strong, with healthy income and deep reserves.

Would the new credit union be financially sound?

Absolutely.  Not only will the credit union have substantial earnings and strong net worth, its size, capabilities, and combined management team ensure it will continue to be strong in the future.

Why have they proposed to merge?

Each credit union’s Board of Directors recognizes the need for credit unions to become larger to remain strong.  It’s becoming more difficult for small credit unions to thrive, considering competitive pressure and the burden of regulations.

Since the first conversation, the Wiregrass Board of Directors recognized AACFCU holds similar core values and a shared commitment to serving you.

How will Wiregrass members benefit from the proposed merger?

Wiregrass members will benefit from the merger in numerous ways.  For instance, the number of branches will go from 3 to 24!  In addition, Wiregrass members will have the ability to access their accounts at more than 5,000 shared branch locations across the country.

The larger size of the credit union has other immediate benefits:

  • Significantly reduce our expense structure
  • Increase operational efficiencies
  • Reduce the risk associated with difficult economic or rate environments

These economies of scale advantages will give us resources to better serve members, make the right long-term infrastructure and technology investments, and become even more competitive.

What is the proposed merger process and timeline?

Wiregrass members will vote on the merger proposal at our special meeting of the members on February 12, 2019 at the main Wiregrass Branch.  If approved, the credit unions will submit the results of the vote to the NCUA, which will make the merger official. The merger would be official on March 1, 2019.

However, changes to accounts, debit and credit cards, systems, signage, etc. would not be completed by March 1st.  We anticipate merging all systems in the second quarter of 2019.  Updates on the merger process will be posted on our website.

Who decides if the merger actually happens?

There are several steps in the merger process.  First, both credit union’s Boards of Directors have evaluated the opportunity and unanimously approved the merger. Second, the credit union governing body, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has granted preliminary approval of the merger, pending the vote from Wiregrass members.  Third, members of Wiregrass will vote on the proposed merger by ballot, either by mail or in person at the special meeting of the members. (See enclosed). Finally, the NCUA will formally approve the merger between the credit unions.

Would the Wiregrass branches remain open?

Absolutely.  In fact, AACFCU will also complete construction of the branch in Andalusia.

Would all Wiregrass employees retain their jobs?

Yes.  Employees will keep their jobs. In addition, AACFCU will recognize their years of service. Wiregrass employees will also have new career opportunities available to them.

Would the new credit union have similar deposit and loan products?

Yes, the credit union will continue to offer a full suite of products and services, including an in-house mortgage department, wealth management advisors, and expanded insurance product offerings.

How would my accounts be affected?

Our goal is to make the transition as automated as possible, and to minimize any inconvenience to you.

Will interest rates and fees change?

Interest rates on products such as car loans and personal loans, and dividend rates on share certificates, already open and in use, will not change.  Other interest rates and fees may change through the normal course of business.  We will communicate updated rates and fees in advance.

Are my accounts still insured?

All accounts will continue to be federally insured by the NCUA. We will work with any members who may exceed the $250,000 insurance coverage limit.

Would I need to order new paper checks?

Eventually, all Wiregrass members who use paper checks will need to get replacement checks, but there will be no expense for the member.  The credit union will pay for these initial replacement checks.

Will I get a new debit/credit card?

When systems merge in the second quarter of 2019, all Wiregrass members will receive replacement debit cards.  We will provide plenty of notice ahead of changes and will work to reduce inconvenience. New credit cards will be distributed at a later date, as your existing Wiregrass credit card will continue to work until further notice.

Will my automatic deposits and withdrawals continue to clear my account?

We will make every effort to avoid interruption of automatic deposits, withdrawals, and payments from your account.  Members who will face a temporary disruption will be notified in advance.

What if I would like to vote on the merger but can’t attend the meeting?

Simply use the ballot enclosed in this packet and return it to the credit union’s main branch (at the address provided), in person or by mail, by the deadline for your vote to be counted.  All ballots must be received by 5:00 pm on the day of the special meeting at the main branch. Hand delivered ballots turned in at the Andalusia and Marianna Branches must be received by 3pm on the day of the vote to allow for delivery at the main office by the deadline.

How will I hear about the results of the vote?

The credit union will announce the results of the vote on its website after the special meeting concludes.

Can I begin using Army Aviation Center FCU branches?

Not yet. Members will be able to use AACFCU branches after we integrate operations in the second quarter of 2019.