Good deals for branches, land and more are there for the waiting as banks fail, the incoming chairman of the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates said Monday.
“We’ve purchased two branches from the FDIC failed bank list and so far it’s worked out quite well,” said Marshall Boutwell, who is slated to take over the top elected post at the Georgia trade group this Friday at its annual meeting.
Boutwell, president/CEO of the $225 million Gwinnett FCU of Lawrenceville, said that credit unions “can purchase these surplus branches for as little as 50 cents on the dollar.”
Remember, he said, the failed banks that once owned them usually did plenty of advance research for good locations and the facilities themselves are usually in good condition needing little renovation.
Last week the $175 million MidSouth Community FCU in Macon detailed its success in purchasing abandoned bank property from the online FDIC list to open a renovated branch in north Macon on June 1. And the $457 million Insight Credit Union of Orlando said it has pending offers with the FDIC to buy two failed bank branches in Ocala, Fla. which could also open in June.
Another Georgia credit union CEO who keeps up on the FDIC list, John Rhea of the $1.7 billion Robins FCU of Warner Robins, reminded his peers not to overlook “what vacant land is available that a failed bank might have purchased some time ago for a potential branch.”
Last year, Robins FCU picked up a new branch in Forsyth outside of Atlanta just prior to the bank’s failure and regulatory merger and before it was on the FDIC list.
DeAnn Dent, vice president of credit union development at MidSouth, said her credit union has managed to pick up many bank furniture bargains through the FDIC.
“We bought an amazing set of furnishings for $3,000 for one of our branches by using the same online watching monitoring technique in which FDIC notice was given to an online auction company,” explained Dent.
MidSouth was able to acquire nearly $14,000 worth of high end furnishings for $2,800 plus a $200 pickup/delivery fee, she said.
On a separate topic, Boutwell of Gwinnett said he expects one of the leading topics at the annual league meeting Friday in Savannah will be the surge in new accounts enjoyed by Georgia credit after Bank Transfer Day.
“You know we thought that kind of growth would peter out in the first quarter but it hasn’t, nearly doubling in new memberships,” Boutwell said. “Every time there’s news about the big banks talking about increasing fees, consumers say they have had enough and start moving to credit unions.”
He added, “The public awareness of credit unions has reached a new tipping point and we’re all benefiting.”