MADISON, Wis. (8/8/14)--As credit unions continue to merge, operating landscapes begin to shift. In Florida, particularly, the ground seems to be moving daily.
Florida is home to some of the most recent and larger mergers. In Jacksonville, $303 million-asset State Employees CU and $412 million-asset First Florida Credit Union finalized its merger following an affirmative vote July 25 by members of State Employees CU. As of Aug. 1, the consolidated credit union is operating under the First Florida CU name and charter. The merger makes it the third-largest credit union in Duval County, behind $5.1 billion-asset Vystar CU and $1.2 billion-asset Community First CU.
Also in Jacksonville, the boards of 121 Financial CU, $449 million in assets, and Duval FCU, $52 million in assets, have agreed to merge later this year, pending membership and regulator approval. The combined credit union will operate under the 121 Financial CU name and retain employees of Duval FCU.
"From our prospective, it is just a logical fit to merge the two credit unions who have similar goals, similar cultures and solid long-term reputations for taking care of members on a personal level," said William Braddock, 121 Financial CEO.
Many of the latest merger announcements include the benefits of a shared culture of member service as well as expanded products and services.
On Tuesday, members of Education Affiliates FCU, New York, approved a merger with McGraw-Hill FCU, East Windsor, N.J., with $311 million in assets. The $50 million-asset credit union was founded in 1979 to serve the instructional and managerial staff of the City University of New York and has since added the Fashion Institute of Technology and Marymount Manhattan College, among others. "This merger brings together two organizations that share the same mission and purpose--supporting our members' financial health and wellness," said Shawn Gilfedder, McGraw-Hill FCU president/CEO.
In California, members of South Western FCU, La Habra, with $129 million in assets, approved its merger with CU of Southern California (CU SoCAL), Whittier, with $742 million in assets. Effective Oct. 1, the resulting credit union will have 13 branch locations and will serve more than 70,000 members in Chino, Chino Hills, Ontario and San Bernardino, and Orange and Los Angeles counties.
"This partnership brings our members many immediate benefits including access to longer member service hours and expanded product offerings," said Laura Poore, CEO of South Western FCU. CU SoCal President/CEO Dave Gunderson will be president/CEO of the merged credit union.
In November, Ameritas Employees CU, Lincoln, Neb., with $16 million in assets, will merge with MembersOwn CU, Lincoln, Neb., with $86 million in assets. The merger of the more than 60-year-old Ameritas Employees CU has been approved by members and regulators (Lincoln Journal Star Aug. 6).