Anderson-based credit union expanding outside Madison County

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Anderson-based Lampco Federal Credit Union, which has been focused on Madison County for 60 years, is eyeing expansion opportunities in Indianapolis and some of its suburbs.

“We’re excited to come to the area,” said Lampco CEO Migual Patterson.

Lampco was established in 1962 to serve local employees of Guide Lamp, a division of General Motors. The credit union later expanded its reach, making membership available to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Madison County. It currently has two physical locations, both in Anderson.

In October, the National Credit Union Administration gave its approval for Lampco to expand its field of membership into Marion, Hamilton and Hancock counties, Patterson said. That means the credit union can now add members who live, work, worship or attend school anywhere in the four-county area.

Lampco has $65.8 million in assets and about 7,500 members. Based on local assets, Lampco ranked 14th in IBJ’s 2023 list of biggest credit unions.

Patterson said Lampco does offer commercial and business lending, but its core focus is on lower-income and underserved populations. One of the organization’s key means of reaching potential members is by forming partnerships with churches, schools, and not-for-profit organizations.

The credit union’s main rivals aren’t big commercial banks, Patterson said. In fact, they aren’t banks or other credit unions at all. “My competition is more of the payday lenders, the loan-shark-rate lenders.”

People should not expect to see new Lampco branches opening in the three expansion counties any time soon, though, Patterson said. Instead, the credit union will take a measured, deliberate approach.

“It’s going to be slow growth,” he said. “I think we really need to take our time and find out what’s needed.”

Lampco hasn’t set firm goals for membership growth, Patterson said, but he’d be pleased if the credit union’s membership rolls grew to 10,000 or so within three to five years.

In its three new expansion counties, Patterson said, Lampco is working to form community partnerships, with plans to begin offering financial literacy programs early next year. The credit union also plans to install at least one live-teller ATM machine in each county next year—ATMs that offer users the ability to speak with a Lampco representative via video if they choose.

Lampco hasn’t yet determined where those ATMs will be located, Patterson said, but they will likely be near a community partner organization’s facility.

The next step would likely be to open a loan production office in the expansion territory, Patterson said, maybe within the next two years. Next, Lampco would look towards opening physical branches—something that could happen in three to five years. Lampco’s branch presence will be dependent on what members want, Patterson said, and how important a physical office is to members in the age of digital transactions.

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