Marking its fifth California merger in just under two years, the $190 million Self-Help Federal Credit Union of Oakland, Calif. announced it is completing a consolidation of the ailing $23 million United Savings FCU of Antioch.
The merger would give Self-Help, which specializes in serving a blue collar and low-income member base, 10 branches in the Bay Area. Its $515 million North Carolina affiliate, Self-Help CU, performs a similar function in that state.
Steve Zuckerman, managing director of Self-Help's California operations, said discussions with United management began earlier this year "and at the request of regulators United sought out and selected us as a partner."
In a formal statement, Zuckerman said "the current and very challenging economic environment is making it increasingly difficult for many smaller financial institutions to thrive. We're pleased to partner with United Savings and the other credit unions that have joined our network," Self-Help completed its last mergers in January of the $5 million El Futuro CU of Porterville and the troubled Kern Central CU of Bakersfield, which for months had been under NCUA scrutiny.
"Since 1935, when we opened our doors to serve local steelworkers, United Savings has been dedicated to providing services to our hard-working members and their families," said Bill Waters, chairman of United Savings. "When we decided a merger was the right path for the credit union, we were excited to find Self-Help CU."
Self Help in North Carolina has also been merging small low-income CUs with its last being May 1 of the $10 million Carolina Family FCU of Kinston. Since November 2009, it has merged three CUs but has "no firm plans to merge more credit unions," said a spokesman.