Loss of Small Credit Unions Underscored in Rural Maine Merger
David Desjardins, president/CEO of the $100 million Acadia Federal Credit Union, recalls seven years ago when rural Aroostook County in far northern Maine had seven credit unions.
That’s now three with the May 1 merger of the $15 million St. Agatha FCU by Acadia FCU in nearby Fort Kent.
“It’s pretty hard for credit unions like ours locked up here against the Canadian border to find opportunities to grow, and so we did approach St. Agatha about following through on a merger and they agreed,” Desjardins said.
St. Agatha had 1,800 members and a single branch and had long been challenged by compliance and regulatory burdens, and had consistently begged off agreeing to any merger, Desjardins said.
But times have changed and St. Agatha had a management succession issue and so after years of talks chose to combine with Acadia, Desjardins said.
The former St. Agatha members will now get more online and mobile banking services and member business lending offerings, he added.
Desjardins said the 9,000-member Acadia FCU has no current plans to pursue any mergers beyond its field of membership.
“We can’t grow into Canada,” he said.