The sudden NCUA takeover of the $876 million Arrowhead Central Credit Union on Friday was as much a surprise to the $4 billion Alaska USA FCU, now owner or co-owner of four former branches of Arrowhead, as it was to others, Alaska USA management reported.
"Just like everybody else we were told at 3:00 pm Alaska time by our staff down there they were posting signs on the branch doors about the conservatorship," said Dan McCue, senior vice president-corporate administration of the Anchorage CU.
Under the original deal with Arrowhead's prior management signed in March, Alaska USA agreed to purchase five Arrowhead Central branches in California's High Desert country east of Los Angeles. But one of the branches in Barstow was jointly shared with the $581 million Pacific Marine CU of Camp Pendleton and the fifth branch in an Apple Valley grocery chain was closed by Arrowhead after store management replaced the San Bernardino CU with a bank, understood to be Chase.
Under the now-revised Arrowhead transaction, Alaska USA is now dealing with the NCUA in implementing the branch switch made final by Aug. 31 when Arrowhead members can choose between sticking with the conserved Arrowhead or opting with Alaska USA, said McCue. Forty employees of Arrowhead were also hired as part of the switch, all of whom took part in smoothing the transition.
A team of 20 Alaska USA employees also assisted, said McCue.
As to whether the Anchorage CU, which has been developing a Southern California merger footprint, would now bid on Arrowhead was unclear. "That is something our CEO and the board will have to decide but right now we are working on making these new members feel comfortable with us," said McCue. Since the Saturday branch takeover, the transition has gone smoothly except for a couple of hiccups, with the NCUA conservatorship as one of them.