In The NewsMerger

Lowland Credit Union Merges With ORNL Federal Credit Union

The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) recently awarded ORNL Federal Credit Union (ORNL FCU), the second largest federally chartered credit union in the state of Tennessee, a merger with Lowland Credit Union (LCU). Following state regulatory approval and LCU member’s vote of approval, the merger was effective May 1, 2024. ORNL FCU is the continuing credit union, with LCU employees and members now ORNL FCU employees and members. 

“The success of the merger is a direct result of the incredible collaboration between the two credit unions and among all of the individual departments at both LCU and ORNL FCU,” said Jenny Vipperman, President & CEO of ORNL FCU. “Employees from both institutions worked together, built strong relationships, and maintained an unwavering focus on members to answer questions and build excitement around the combined organization.”

When the intent to merge was announced earlier this year, leadership at both credit unions emphasized the value the merger would bring as a combined credit union to LCU employees, members, communities, and the state of Tennessee. “The majority of members agreed, voting nearly ten to one in favor of the merger. We are moving forward with a strong mandate to continue building a credit union that provides the highest level of financial products and services and invests in the area with a deep commitment to our members, employees, the community, and the state of Tennessee,” said Randy Gorman, Chair of the ORNL FCU Board of Directors.

All employees of LCU were guaranteed a position in the combined credit union with equal or greater pay and benefits, opportunities for remote work, a retention bonus, and any tenure they earned while at LCU. 

The merger will also provide ORNL FCU and LCU members with an expanded branch network and a strengthened member service experience. Members can expect an array of products and services at competitive rates, a 24/7 call center, and industry leading mobile and online banking platforms. 

Vipperman stated that “this merger represents a win-win for both credit unions, our members, and the community, allowing for combined resources, enhanced technology, and a wider range of financial products and services for members.” LCU members will benefit from improved online banking, mobile apps, and other technological advancements that make managing their finances easier and more convenient.

As the continuing credit union, ORNL FCU will absorb the three LCU branch locations, two in Morristown and one in Newport. “ORNL FCU has been serving the Lakeway Area and Morristown community since 2003, and we are thrilled to add a presence in my hometown of Cocke County with the addition of the Newport location,” said Gorman,. 

ORNL FCU is heavily involved in the communities it serves and will continue to invest in the Lakeway Area, which includes Grainger, Hamblen, and Jefferson counties, as well as Cocke County, all in eastern Tennessee. 

“As a credit union, we believe in connecting with the communities we serve and fostering meaningful relationships. Positive interactions propel both the credit union and the community to grow and thrive together,” said Vipperman. 

“From improved services and technology to job retention and community engagement, we believe that this credit union merger is just one example of the ripple effect of positive outcomes that the communities in which we serve and the state of Tennessee stand to gain from this collaborative effort,” Gorman commented. “We are ensuring a stronger and more resilient financial landscape for our members and communities.”

With the merger, ORNL FCU will have a total of 31 branches, over $3.9 billion in assets, and over 210,000 members. ORNL FCU will continue to serve those who live, work, worship, or attend school in 19 counties of East Tennessee.