The $1.6 billion Travis Credit Union is merging the ailing $177 million Metro 1 CU of Concord, Calif., effective next spring, it was announced Friday.
Travis, based in Vacaville and with 19 northern California branches, said the consolidation will expand its presence in East Bay and in the state's Central Valley.
A Travis spokeswoman confirmed that NCUA had previously asked Metro 1 to seek out a merger partner though the agency has defined the merger as voluntary.
Metro 1, with 3.3% net worth, lost $4.6 million in 2009 and $3.5 million for the first three quarters of 2010.
In a statement, Travis said the merger proposal was accepted by NCUA on Nov. 3.
Metro 1, which recently changed its name from First Metropolitan CU and has 19,000 members and 49 employees, maintains five branches in Antioch, Benicia, Concord, Richmond and Oakley.
Patsy Van Ouwerkerk, Travis president/CEO, said the addition of Metro 1 members fits in the CU's "strategic plan to expand its reach in northern California" with the merger set for completion in late spring.
Diana Dykstra, the new president/CEO of the California/Nevada Credit Union League, told a Contra Costa paper that Metro 1 had sustained heavier amounts of real estate problems and losses than other credit unions, adding, "they were really stuck in a bad area and got hit harder than most others."
Van Ouwerkerk also said Travis "certainly in the future is interested in expanding in the Central Valley, in Alameda County and in Solano County. Mergers are part of our growth strategy."