Nearly a year in process, the $117 million Hope Community Credit Union, a Jackson, Miss. community development CU, has completed a merger with Memphis-based American Savings Credit Union.
The combined CU has more than 11 branches in Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana, and 46,000 members.
"The merger of these two entities forms a larger, stronger community development financial institution that serves working families throughout the Mid-South," said Bill Bynum, president/CEO of Hope. The merger was completed last January, but final signage and marketing changes were made July 1.
Taking note of the financial struggles of members, Bynum said the merger provides new resources for consumers "trying to weather the current financial crisis and a difficult financial environment."
American Savings experienced operating problems in 2008. Bynum said Hope Community has had merger conversations with other credit unions serving low- and moderate-income families in the Mississippi/Arkansas market "because there is potential for growth." In the meantime, he said Hope is concentrating on "helping the rebuilding effort," focusing in particular on coastal communities in Mississippi and Louisiana recovering from hurricane damage.
His Jackson CU was started in 1995 as a church project and was joined by a nonprofit sponsor, the Enterprise Corporation of the Delta. Over the years it has assisted more than 70,000 individuals and generated $1 billion in financing for entrepreneurs and community development projects in the mid-South.