LAS VEGAS -- Is the credit union industry unnecessarily up in arms over the possibility of a "hostile takeover" within its own ranks?
Bruce Jolly, partner with widely-known law firm Venable, LLP and former counsel for CUNA, the Independent Community Bankers Association and the American Bankers Association, thinks so.
"There is no such thing as a hostile takeover" among credit unions, Jolly told Credit Union Times. "[The merger plan] has to be approved by both boards. There is no process now by which a member of a target [credit union] can be directly affected by an offer."
When asked about $1.6 billion Wings Financial Federal Credit Union's merger campaign strategies aimed at members of $182 million Continental Federal Credit Union, Jolly said "Wings did what they could." As for whether he believes there will be more such merger campaigns where the credit union will circumvent a board's merger rejection and communicate directly to the members, Jolly said he expects there will be "frequent" similar attempts. Incidentally, Bill Donovan, another attorney with Venable, former NAFCU general counsel and one of the key persons in drafting the Credit Union Membership Access Act of 1998, served as part of Wings Financial's legal team during the credit union's merger proposal with Continental FCU. --firstname.lastname@example.org