Many credit unions become interested in mergers as part of the strategic planning process. They see mergers as a way to gain economies of scale that are essential to their survival, give a boost to membership numbers, help support expanded products and services, or fill gaps in the scope of their field of membership.
The strategic planning process often spurs the decision to pursue mergers because it’s based on asking--and answering--difficult questions about the credit union’s future. When mergers are the topic, the biggest question is often, “What are you hoping to achieve?” While it’s tempting to answer that question with a few words--growth, a community charter, and better member services are three examples--it’s essential to probe for details to make sure your merger partners truly fit your criteria.
Asking questions can help clarify your goals, both in general terms and when you begin to examine potential partners. Questions to ask include: