“The fact that 75 percent of our membership, representing 82 percent of the votable shares of Seattle Bank stock, participated in the voting process speaks to the important role your cooperative plays for your businesses, your customers, and your communities—and the potential for this combination to deliver greater value to you over the long term,” Michael Wilson, FHLB Seattle president, said in a release announcing the vote.
The next step in the merger process involves the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s acceptance of the combined bank’s organization certificate. This final approval from the FHFA will come by way of its acceptance of a submission from the two banks certifying that the conditions to closing included in the FHFA’s approval of the merger application have been satisfied. The banks are targeting mid-year as the timeframe that they would begin serving their members as a single bank. Integration of the banks’ information technology systems and data is probably the most significant challenge in the merger process, and that will continue for some time after the merger closes.
The onboarding tool kit (which member banks will receive this week) contains information that Seattle Bank members need to know to be ready to conduct business with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines after the merger closes. It includes, for example, copies of agreements and forms that Seattle Bank members must execute with the combined entity and descriptions of operational differences between the Seattle and Des Moines Banks.