CoVantage Credit Union Plans Expansion into Northern Illinois

CoVantage has entered into an agreement to purchase LincolnWay Community Bank.


April 27, 2022

CoVantage Credit Union announced today that it has entered into an agreement to purchase substantially all of the assets and liabilities of LincolnWay Community Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of LWCBancorp, Inc., which has two locations in northern Illinois.

 CoVantage Credit Union    LincolnWay Community Bank

While the agreement is contingent on obtaining regulatory and LincolnWay shareholder approvals, the proposed transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both organizations. Plans are being made to combine the staff, assets, loans, and other accounts of the $277 million LincolnWay Community Bank into the $2.7 billion CoVantage Credit Union. When the purchase is complete, which is targeted for the fourth quarter of 2022, CoVantage will have $3 billion in assets with 500 employees in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois.

According to CoVantage CEO, Charlie Zanayed, “We are pleased to have found a partner whose culture and values are well aligned with CoVantage. 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. They are extraordinarily successful commercial lenders, particularly in commercial development and commercial real estate lending. 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. We are excited about the opportunity to help more businesses grow by expanding our commercial relationships through competitive loan rates, low or no cost business deposit services, and providing the service businesses expect. CoVantage is also a leading mortgage lender throughout the communities we serve, and our rates and fees are consistently rated among the best-of-the-best. We feel this is an opportune time to provide outstanding value and exceptional service to Northern Illinois.”

“CoVantage Credit Union is a high-performing, growing, and successful community-minded organization. We chose to partner with CoVantage because its culture, leadership, and commercial real estate lending all align very closely with ours,” said LincolnWay Community Bank CEO Mark Stevens. “Our customers can feel confident that this partnership only strengthens our ability to serve them in the manner they have come to expect from LincolnWay. We are excited and honored to be part of their promising future.”

According to Zanayed, “Growth is an important part of keeping CoVantage strong. Partnering with LincolnWay Community provides us an opportunity to serve a new market with the award-winning products and services CoVantage delivers to our 140,000 member-owners. With growth, we can provide more value and services that benefit all members, like the elimination of all overdraft fees on CoVantage checking accounts that was announced last fall. I truly believe the mission of CoVantage and the good work that we do is needed more today than ever before. I am excited about the positive impact this purchase will allow CoVantage to make in the lives of those we serve, and I look forward to welcoming the LincolnWay Community customers and employees into our CoVantage Credit Union family.” 

Mercer Capital served as financial advisor and Honigman LLP served as legal advisor to CoVantage Credit Union. Olsen Palmer LLC served as financial advisor and Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP served as legal counsel to LWCBancorp, Inc.


About CoVantage Credit Union

CoVantage Credit Union is a mission focused financial institution headquartered in Antigo, Wisconsin. The organization has $2.7 billion in assets and serves over 140,000 member-owners across 20 locations. Founded in 1953, the financial cooperative serves members living or working in 30 counties in Wisconsin and three counties in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Following the purchase of LincolnWay Community, CoVantage Credit Union will have $3 billion in assets with 500 employees in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois. 

About LincolnWay Community Bank

Founded in 2005, LincolnWay Community Bank has total assets of approximately $277 million, total deposits of approximately $243 million, total loans of approximately $197 million, and operates two branches located in New Lenox and Mokena, Illinois. 

More information about LincolnWay Community Bank can be found at


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