The nation's biggest inter-state merger has cleared a major hurdle. TheNCUA has now given approval to the $4.6 billion consolidation of First Tech Credit Union of Beaverton, Ore., and Addison Avenue FCU of Palo Alto, Calif.
The merger, which has been eight months in the process stage and signals perhaps a new era in CU consolidation trends, is still subject to the approval of First Tech members and the Oregon regulator.
"We are very pleased to receive merger approval from the NCUA, an important first step in the approval process," said a joint statement by Benson Porter, Addison Avenue president/CEO and the designated head of the merged entity, and Brooke Van Vleet, First Tech's interim president/CEO.
The agency actually approved the merger deal Sept. 15 with formal announcement of its action contained in its upcoming monthly activity reports to be posted online in a matter of days.
For months both CUs have been conducting an active communications program online and by mail to educate employees and members on the merger's impact.
The statement from Porter and Van Vleet noted that "before First Tech can proceed to a member vote, Oregon's regulators must also weigh in and render their decision."
The Oregon CU Administrator, David Tatman, was not immediately available for comment though there appeared no roadblocks on that front to halt that agency's OK, sources said.
Some industry analysts have speculated the NCUA's eight-month delay might have been linked to the agency wanting to resolve the corporate restructuring dilemma first, which it undertook with its Sept. 24 seizures.
Still others said there were myriad issues involving balance sheet considerations and federal/state chartering problems on First Tech/Addison that appeared to stand in the way for a time.
The First Tech/Addison Avenue deal preceded the even larger proposed California merger of the $3.5 billion Kinecta FCU and $1.2 billion NuVision FCU.If approved by regulators and members, that CU would serve 300,000 members in 40 branches throughout Los Angeles and Orange County.