The $2.3 billion Georgia Central Credit Union, the state's corporate engaged in active merger talks on the NCUA-conserved Southwest Bridge Corporate FCU, has become a federal charter, its president/CEO, Greg Moore, confirmed Tuesday.
The move, in line with an overall strategy of building resources "since scale has become ever more important" on the corporate scene, comes as the Duluth-based entity awaits a favorable vote by a key unit of an NCUA-sanctioned advisory panel for Southwest.
A recommendation supporting Georgia Central as the corporate of choice in any consolidation is due for a Nov. 30 vote by the 140-member Advisory Council made up largely of CEOs representing CU users from some eight states stretching from Texas to Oregon.
Moore said the switch away from the state is pursued "with regret" but is necessary to enable Georgia's Central consolidation strategy involving Southwest or, perhaps later, other corporates.
Though no direct merger talks are underway, Moore said, Georgia Central has maintained working ties with other corporates and has long operated a joint data processing CUSO with VACORP FCU in Virginia and Southeast Corp. FCU in Florida.
As for the charter change, the state's banking commissioner, Robert Braswell, confirmed its approval Nov. 13.
Georgia Central was chartered in 1936 and has 169 Georgia members.
In picking Southwest as a partner, Moore said the Plano, Tex. corporate "has long run an efficient shop and so we looked to them" to enhance the Georgia Central's service menu.
As to how the eventual merger will take place if approved by the Southwest panel and NCUA, Moore acknowledged there "are some unknowns" as to whether a bidding process would take place. "All of that remains to be seen," he told Credit Union Times.