Two local credit unions have the green light for expansion.
Spruance Cellophane Credit Union and Entrust Financial Credit Union received approval last month from state regulators to expand their fields of membership.
Entrust, which offers membership to local churches and Christian organizations, was approved to go after members of and volunteers at Grove Avenue Baptist Church and its Grove Christian School.
The expansion opens the door for the $73 million credit union to potentially gain 3,300 members from Grove, said Entrust interim chief executive Lisa Lambrecht.
“They wanted to offer it to their congregation and the participants in their school,” she said. “We hope to get a large majority of them.”
Entrust has just under 10,000 members and has been in business since 1970. Its headquarters and main branch is at 1801 Dabney Road in Richmond, just off West Broad Street.
Lambrecht said the growth would continue as Entrust is preparing to file two more requests for expansion and just had two approved. She would not comment on specifics of the recent approvals.
Spruance, meanwhile, is aiming for a much larger expansion. It received approval to offer membership to anyone who lives, works, worships, etc., in all of Chesterfield County. That puts more than 300,000 potential members on the table.
Spruance offers membership to employees and retirees from the local operations of industrial giant Dupont. It is headquartered at 7119 Jefferson Davis Highway, near the Dupont Spruance Plant that manufactures Kevlar and other materials.
The credit union has been in business since 1953 and has about $5.7 million in assets and 1,256 members.
It is common for credit unions to seek expansion, as many were founded with small and specific fields of membership in mind. Some expand by adding specific employee-based or community groups.
Others, to the chagrin of many banks, seek broader community charters, allowing them to target large swaths of a market and compete more directly with banks.
Because credit unions are tax-exempt, many banks loath community charters and argue that if credit unions want to go after the same customers, they should have to pay the same taxes.
A handful of credit unions across Richmond have expanded to community charters in recent years, including Connects FCU, Call FCU, Argent CU, Henrico FCU and Partners Financial FCU.