Oregon has another credit union merger in the works, which if approved would create the state's fifth largest credit union.
The $650 million Northwest Community CU of Eugene said it has signed a letter of intent with the $140 million Mid Oregon FCU of Bend to explore a consolidation once it is approved by members and regulators that could cover an area encompassing metro Portland and central Oregon. The target date to complete the merger is next June, officials said.
Both CUs, it was emphasized, are financially healthy, with Northwest holding net worth of 8.93% and Mid Oregon at 9.6%.
"Both credit unions can stand on their own, but we saw a strategic partnership where we could leverage our strength," said Matt Purvis, vice president of Northwest Community, which has 15 branches in Springfield, Eugene and metro Portland.
The proposed Northwest-Mid Oregon deal follows another planed mid-size CU merger announced little more than a month ago between the $410 million Oregon First Community CU of Coquille and the $285 million SOFCU Community CU of Grants Pass.
Both Northwest-Mid Oregon and Oregon First-SOFCU transactions underscore Oregon as the latest national hot spot for mergers.
The chair of Northwest, Barb Blackmore, said the combination "of these two successful organizations could make for a perfect fit, and we are excited to explore the possible improvements that would come with a merger."
The goal, she said, "is to offer a combined credit union that is capable of offering more convenience, more locations and more technology services for banking throughout Oregon."
Discussions between the management and boards of Northwest and Mid Oregon have been ongoing for months. The two CUs have long had working relationships through shared branching operations and co-branding, said Purvis, noting that the ties led to the merger negotiations.
Both boards of directors have approved the letter of intent, said a press statement. The proposed merger "must still undergo a due diligence review process, then be approved by regulators and subsequently by Mid Oregon Federal Credit Union members who will vote on joining the Northwest Community charter."
Northwest, with 70,000 members, has branches in Albany, Beaverton, Bend, Cottage Grove, Eugene, two in Medford, North Bend, Oregon City, Redmond, two in Roseburg and two in Springfield.