A credit union started by University of Colorado Boulder staff and faculty is seeking approval from state regulators to expand into El Paso County.
Elevations Credit Union wants Colorado Financial Services Board approval to allow anyone living or working in El Paso County to become a member. The four-member panel, which includes Elevation CEO Gerry Agnes as its chairman, has scheduled a public hearing for 11 a.m. Oct. 9, but it could approve the request without a hearing if it receives no written protests by 5 p.m. Sept. 29. Agnes has recused himself from consideration of Elevations' request.
An Elevations spokeswoman declined to comment in an email on the request until the board acts.
The Colorado Banking Board in January rejected Elevation's plan to buy Cache Bank & Trust, a small Greeley bank, because state law did not specifically authorize such a transaction. Credit unions have acquired more than 20 U.S. banks during the past two years, but banking trade groups have opposed such deals, including the Elevations transaction.
Elevations was started in 1953 as the University of Colorado Federal Credit Union with 12 members and less than $100 in assets; it has grown to nearly 147,000 members and more than $2.5 billion in assets spread among 14 branches from Broomfield to Fort Collins that employ 570 people. The credit union changed its name in 2006 to Elevations and expanded its territory in 2012 to include Adams and Larmier counties; it added Denver, Jefferson and Weld counties in 2015. Elevations also serves Arapahoe, Boulder and Douglas counties
Elevations becomes the second major player this year seeking to expand into the Colorado Springs area. Bank of America announced plans in March to open its first branch next year at at 5737 Barnes Road, southwest of Barnes Road and Powers Boulevard. The Colorado Springs financial services market is dominated by Colorado's largest credit union, Ent, which has nearly 400,000 members, $7.1 billion in assets and more than 35 Front Range branches.