Western Slope credit union to merge with Denver union

Western Slope-based Great American Community Credit Union is merging with Denver-headquartered Bellco Credit union, officials said Monday.

Great American Credit Union, which was chartered in 1960 and has offices in Grand Junction and Meeker and assets of $22 million, is joining the
statewide giant with possibilities of additional branches and jobs.

“The Western Slope is such an economically vibrant and growing area,” said Sandra Sagehorn-Elliott, vice president of customer relationship management for Bellco. “It gives us a whole new population base to reach out to with our products and services.”

The merger brings the total number of Bellco branches to 17. Bellco has assets of $1.9 billion. Bellco has already increased rates on certificates of deposit and money market accounts and has lowered interest rates on loans, Sagehorn-Elliott said.

The offices in Meeker and Grand Junction will serve counties including Mesa, Garfield, Rio Blanco and Moffat. The credit union already has a member base in Grand Junction of about 1,000 who have accounts. They will join the 4,500 members of the Great American Credit Union.

Members will see more online product availability and mobile checking, better rates on savings and lending products and more diverse savings products, said Nancy Hill, former CEO of Great American, who will become the vice president of Western Slope sales and service for Bellco.

The move alleviates potential economic pressures for the institution, she said.

“I think we are all tightening our belts,” Hill said. “Right now things are fine, but if we had seen the economic downturn the rest of the nation has, we would have had to pull back and limit some of the products and services if we hadn’t done this.” 


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