As expected, the ailing $6 million Mission SF Federal Credit Union of San Francisco was seized over the weekend by NCUA and in a purchase/assumption deal awarded to the $360 million Self-Help FCU of Durham, N.C.
The planned merger with the North Carolina CU, which already operates a northern California branch network, had been signaled as early as last month as the beleaguered community development CU pursued a local and national campaign to raise $200,000 in new capital to stave off its eventual liquidation.
Mission, located in the city’s tough Tenderloin Mission district and founded in 1971, had been in a weakened financial condition for nearly two years following losses on mortgages and other loans that went sour. Mission lost $370,000 in 2009 and $262, 000 last year and its net worth is below 1%.
In a statement, Steve Zuckerman, president/CEO of Self-Help, noted Mission had been operating in a “challenging economic environment” but the Durham CU “is honored to be partnering with Mission to serve this vibrant and diverse community.” Both CUs “share a common mission to provide affordable quality financial services to underserved communities.”
Over the past three years, Self-Help has combined the operations of six Central Valley CUs, many of them low-income entities. They include People’s Community Partnership FCU, West Oakland; Community Trust, Modesto; El Futuro, Portersville; Kern Central, Bakersfield; United Savings FCU, Antioch, and 1st Pacific Valley, Vallejo. They totaled 18 branches.
Zuckerman said Self-Help will continue to work closely with Mission SF’s non-profit partner, Mission SF Community Financial Center. The non-profit operates two savings programs for low-income children and youth, PLAY and MY Path, and an adult financial counseling program through a partnership with SingleStop USA and Schwab.
Mission’s capital fund-raising campaign pushed by its board and management since last fall has won both support and criticism from its California peers. Some Bay Area CUs committed $5,000 to $10,000 donations while others complained the solicitations were unseemly and cast a negative light on the industry.
Also backing the campaign was the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions. At one point the CU with 2,500 members said it raised more than $50,000 and had won an NCUA reprieve, continuing the campaign but in February survival prospects appeared to grow dimmer.