Bankers agree to be acquired by credit unions after bankers examine all options in front of them and believe a credit union is the best option, CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan told Banking Dive this week. In an article about credit union acquisitions, Donovan responds to claims from organizations such as the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA)
“I think that the ICBA is aggressive in their pushback of these deals because, when a bank sells to a credit union, they potentially could be losing a member of the association," Donovan said. "If you talk to bankers, they'll tell you that they want all options available because they have a responsibility to their shareholders to evaluate all options. You're going to get a different story from the bank and trade associations because their interests are different.”
Despite pushes by bankers, Donovan said that, due to the pandemic, election and other pressing matters in Washington, D.C., lawmakers’ focus isn’t on bank acquisitions or the credit union tax status.
"It's not something that we think is a high priority for them right now, and I haven't seen any evidence that suggests that it is," he said.
NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood said in the article that 32 credit unions had acquired bank assets in the previous seven years, while there have been around 250 bank-on-bank acquisitions in the past year alone.
He added that in some cases, if a credit union hadn't decided to buy a community bank, some areas would be without banking access, leaving them "vulnerable to pernicious payday lenders."