Thrivent Gets OK to Transform Bank Into Credit Union

Thrivent Gets OK to Transform Bank Into Credit Union

The Minneapolis-based company said that the newly formed credit union will have about $500 million in assets; current Thrivent Financial Bank clients will become member-owners of the credit union.

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans said Monday that it has received approval from federal regulators to turn its bank into a credit union.

News surfaced in January that Minneapolis-based Thrivent planned to make the transition, and the company said at the time that it was awaiting regulatory clearance.

The move will involve the transfer of Thrivent Financial Bank’s deposits, liabilities, and assets to the new credit union on December 1. The new entity, Thrivent Federal Credit Union, will have about $500 million in assets, making it one of the largest faith-based credit unions in the United States, Thrivent said.

Thrivent Financial Bank, meanwhile, will change its name to Thrivent Trust Company. All existing trust accounts, investment management accounts, and individual retirement accounts currently serviced by Thrivent Financial Bank will be handled by Thrivent Trust Company, which will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

Thrivent Federal Credit Union, by contrast, will be owned by its members. Current Thrivent Financial Bank clients, of whom there were 46,422 as of October 1, will become member-owners of the credit union upon the transition.

“Thrivent Federal Credit Union is a logical fit with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans’ history of aligning faith and finances,” Todd Sipe, who leads Thrivent’s bank and will serve as president of Thrivent Federal Credit Union, said in a statement. “We will be able to offer a unique combination of financial expertise, competitive products and educational services, and shared values with our members.”

In January, Sipe told the Star Tribune that transitioning to a credit union was necessary because of new regulatory changes under the federal Dodd-Frank Act. It used to be that banks owned by insurance companies were regulated by the Office of Thrift Supervision; now, they are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve. The shift reportedly created more stringent bank accounting methods and capital requirements and gave the company “one more regulator at our doorstep,” Sipe told the newspaper.

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, a financial services company that offers insurance, annuities, and other services, is Minnesota’s second-largest privately held company based on revenue, which totaled $7.53 billion during the organization’s most recent fiscal year.