ICI credit union to merge with Del-One

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Del-One Federal Credit Union announced that ICI America Federal Credit Union, New Castle, will become part of the larger membership group.

The credit union represents employees and families who were affiliated with companies whose roots descend from the chemical side of now-defunct ICI, one example being the Croda site in New Castle. The ICI credit union has assets of nearly $2.7 million. Del-One has assets of more than $400 million.

ICI was one of the last credit unions to not offer checking accounts and other financial services. Its services include share draft savings accounts and loans.

The number of credit unions in Delaware has shrunk over the years as industrial employers like DuPont and the News Journal shrunk their employee rosters, or in the case of Chrysler and GM, disappeared.

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Del-One, Dover Federal and other credit unions have absorbed smaller entities and added services such as checking accounts and debit cards. The credit unions have also expanded their fields of membership to in some cases include geographic areas.

Del-One picked up a large base of potential members with an affiliation this year with Delaware Electric Cooperative, which has members in portions of Kent and Sussex County.

Like Del-One, Dover Federal, which was founded to serve people with ties to the air force base, operates a statewide branch network.

Credit unions are member-owned nonprofits and do not pay income taxes, a feature that has drawn the ire of smaller community banks. However, the organizations have been affected by financial regulations that make the operation of small credit unions difficult.

With its member roster shrinking and financial regulations becoming more complex, the Delaware Credit Union League has merged with a New England-based credit union association.

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