In separate statements, the NCUA and the $5.6 billion Security Service Federal Credit Union of San Antonio said Friday the failed $130 million Norbel CU of Fort Collins, Colo. and its five offices have been officially merged into SSFCU effective today following a liquidation proceeding.
"We are pleased to welcome our newest members to the SSFCU family," said David Reynolds, president/CEO of SSFCU, which has had a Colorado presence since 1980. "Those members will continue to receive seamless, uninterrupted service."
The Norbel acquisition, said SSFCU, adds 16,000 new Colorado members to its national base of 750,000. SSFCU has 55 offices with 36 of them in Texas. Approximately one-third of SSFCU's members are in Colorado, said SSFCU noting also it is the third largest CU in Colorado.
In the Norbel merger, John Worthington, senior vice president of SSFCU, said the Fort Collins CU remains a "a basically well-run credit union that simply got into trouble on some real estate and commercial loans." Economic conditions, he said, including loss of jobs and foreclosures worsened the situation, leading to the NCUA's liquidation. SSFCU said it was gratified that the Norbel board chose the San Antonio CU as its suitor.
Worthington praised "the great crew up there" which has been whittled down from a 55 employee base to 41, as a result of attrition and SSFCU's own centralized management policies. Worthington said he could not project whether more Colorado CUs might be merger prospects but nationally "if you heard what came out of that NAFCU conference with hundreds of large Camel 3-4-5 merger candidates, you know there will be more down the road given this problematic economy." During NAFCU's annual meeting in Chicago, a regulator panel hit on CUs facing tough earnings in the remainder of 2010 and into next year.