Mergers by the $900 million Kitsap Credit Union have been a rare event but the Bremerton, Wash., credit union is about to undertake its first in more than two decades, the proposed consolidation of the $47 million Quimper Community Credit Union in Port Townsend, Wash.
The transaction, said Kitsap President/CEO Elliot Gregg, is one in which Quimper, struggling to keep up with competition and declining capital, sought out Kitsap as a merger partner.
Discussions started several months ago, Gregg said.
“We signed a letter of intent and our plan is to complete the merger in the fourth quarter,” said Gregg. The merger deal is subject to member and regulatory approval.
Quimper will add 7,000 new members and two new branches to the 85,000 members who currently belong to Kitsap.
Gregg said the consolidation reflects conditions in the northwest Washington market in which smaller credit unions have a tougher time in offering up-to-date products and services and coping in a restrictive geographic environment of the Kitsap and Quimper peninsulas.
“Quimper was challenged in its capital position,” Gregg said, adding that Quimper’s predicament is typical of small credit unions across the nation.
Gregg added that Kitsap remains against “hustling for merger partners. We are not out there knocking on doors.”
But in the Quimper case, it was willing to listen, seeing synergies for both credit unions, the Kitsap CEO said.