Wisconsin Story Archive

Wisconsin-based $2.7-billion CoVantage Credit Union has agreed to purchase the $277-million LincolnWay Community Bank
Courtesy of CUToday.info

The $2.7-billion CoVantage Credit Union has agreed to purchase the $277-million LincolnWay Community Bank, nearly 300 miles south in New Lennox, Ill. The buy marks the seventh CU purchase of a bank in 2022.


LincolnWay Community Bank is a wholly-owned subsidiary of LWCBancorp, Inc.

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both organizations but is awaiting bank shareholder and regulatory approvals. Plans are being made to combine the staff, CoVantage stated.

“We are pleased to have found a partner whose culture and values are well aligned with CoVantage,” said CoVantage CEO Charlie Zanayed. “LincolnWay Community has focused on making exceptional service a priority for their personal and business banking customers like we do for those we serve at CoVantage.”

As have many credit unions that have purchased banks in the past, a focus of the deal with LincolnWay is commercial lending expertise.

‘Size and Scale’ Cited

“They are extraordinarily successful commercial lenders, particularly in commercial development and commercial real estate lending,” said Zanayed. “CoVantage is also a highly successful commercial lender and is one of only a few credit unions nationally that has been serving commercial members the entire time we’ve been in business, which for CoVantage Credit Union is going on 70 years. By partnering with LincolnWay Community businesses, we can deliver the size and scale that is needed to survive and thrive today.

Read More Here


DATCP and DFI Host Student Loan Debt Relief Workshop: How to Avoid Scams, Use Free Repayment Tools and Save Money

January 5, 2022 – Today, the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) announced they are hosting free online student loan debt relief workshops on Jan. 20 and Jan. 21. These workshops will help student loan borrowers prepare for the end of the federal student loan payment pause on May 1.

“With student loan payments resuming in May, it is more important than ever for borrowers to explore their student loan repayment options and make a plan for repayment today,” said DFI Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld. “Borrowers should take time now while payments are still paused to look into repayment options such as income-driven repayment plans, which may lower monthly payments, and check their eligibility for student loan forgiveness. Not waiting until the last minute to make a plan is important and will help ensure a smooth return to repayment.”

“As student loan payments resume, borrowers should watch for dishonest offers of loan forgiveness or savings from consolidation from debt relief scammers,” said DATCP Secretary Randy Romanski. “Borrowers with questions should attend these informational workshops to learn more about the many resources consumers can access without paying any fees.”


More Than 70 Employers Are Actively Promoting Saving Automatically for Emergencies

August 31, 2021 — Seventy-one small to mid-size employers in Wisconsin, representing approximately 7,500 employees, are now actively promoting and encouraging saving automatically through split deposits to their employees. Recognizing many individuals were not fully prepared for the lasting economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, these employers have joined a new statewide effort to help more Wisconsin workers save automatically and successfully through their paycheck.

Wisconsin Saves focuses on the role of small to mid-size employers in promoting the ease and benefits of saving automatically for emergencies to their employees.
This effort is led by Wisconsin State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski; Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld; President and CEO of the Wisconsin Bankers Association Rose Oswald Poels; Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC) President Wendy Baumann; and America Saves, the leading national campaign in promoting savings.


Capitol Eyes
Apr 08, 2021 — By Tom Harrington

Grassroots Alert- Protect Members Against Financial Elder Abuse
Next week, the Senate Committee on Financial Institutions and Revenue will hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 19, relating to financial exploitation of vulnerable adults. The League testified in support of the bill during the Assembly hearing and will testify in support on Monday. Activists also shared support for the bill during the 2020 State GAC.

Activists can visit the Grassroots Action Center on The League’s website to send a pre-written, editable letter to your legislators and voice support for the legislation.

Budget-Writing Joint Finance Committee Hearings
The Joint Finance Committee is set to hold public hearings on the state budget throughout the state this month, with the final hearing taking place virtually.

Joint Finance Committee latest statement on budget hearings

If you’re interested in attending a public hearing and making a statement in support of the Credit Union Movement, please contact Sarah Wainscott. Consider using the following as an example:

Credit unions helped members and communities to the tune of over $2.3 billion through the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic crisis. This is exactly what you’d expect from not-for-profit cooperatives with a people-focus mission and a track record of providing valued services to their members and Wisconsin communities.

We don’t have a specific budget bill request, but hope you will continue to support budget decisions and proposals that allow credit unions to continue to thrive in our state.

Wisconsin Credit Union Response to COVID-19

Recommended Reading
How Racial Justice Push Sparked New CRA Law in Illinois
A new Illinois law that is designed to push state-regulated financial institutions to invest more in underserved communities grew out of the racial justice movement that swept the nation last year.

“What Are We Going to Do?” Towns Reel as Banks Close Branches at Record Pace
George Holland, the mayor of Moorhead, Miss., remembers the feeling when he heard that Regions Bank was closing its branch in his small, rural town a few years ago. “That was actually the only bank in our community and the next-closest bank was probably 8, 9 miles to Indianola,” Holland said. “I was thinking, ‘What are we going to do?’…As banks close, many communities have been looking to nonprofit credit unions and other alternatives to fill the void.


NASCUS’ Wisconsin Executive Forum – March 16, 2021

February 16, 2021 – NASCUS, the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions and The Wisconsin Credit Union League invite you to participate in this acclaimed annual session. This learning opportunity will address national issues and COVID-19, duties, liabilities and protection of credit union directors and strategic and succession planning. Engage your credit union’s directors, committee members and management staff in this webinar.


What’s new in your state?
Click here to submit your state-chartered credit union news stories to NASCUS today!