Following through on its NCUA plan to expand its national footprint, the $1.2 billion Chartway Federal Credit Union of Virginia Beach, Va. merged the troubled $311 million HeritageWest FCU of Tooele, Utah in an agency-approved purchase/assumption deal over the New Year's weekend.
For the agency, it was the 15th and final NCUA liquidation of 2009 and underscored the difficult economic year for the industry while also dwarfing the FDIC/banking industry's 133 failures.
Without identifying the prospective merger partner, the Virginia CU early last month disclosed it had been in discussion with the agency and the HeritageWest board and management before Thanksgiving about a possible merger of the Utah CU, located outside Salt Lake City.
Chartway with 52 branches in nine states is formerly known as Naval Air CU and serves a military field of membership in Virginia Beach. It has long said it seeks an expanded FOM as a means to grow, working with the NCUA, which all year has been soliciting well capitalized suitors for struggling CUs.
Though year-end figures were not immediately available, HeritageWest, with 40,000 members, had lost $15.9 million through the first nine months on top of a $12 million loss in 2008.
In its formal statement about the Chartway takeover, the NCUA said it had "accepted Chartway's offer to purchase and assume the assets, loans and shares" of HeritageWest which had been in "declining financial condition" leading to its closure and subsequent purchase/assumption.
Chartway's management has said over the last year its staff has made more than 150 contacts inquiring of CEOs and boards about possible consolidations as part of the Virginia CUs national strategy.