Wisconsin's Landmark Credit Union to Buy Savings Bank
The $2 billion Landmark Credit Union of New Berlin, Wis., announced Tuesday it has filed applications with federal and state regulators to buy the $190 million Hartford Savings Bank, a state-chartered mutual savings bank in Hartford, Wis.
Landmark CU is the third credit union to make such a move this in the past year. In January, the $1.5 billion United Federal Credit Union in St. Joseph, Mich., completed its takeover of Griffith Savings Bank of Griffith, Ind. In June, the buyout of a New Hampshire savings bank, Monadnock Community Bank, by the $352 million GFA Federal Credit Union of Gardner, Mass., was approved by regulators.
Although Landmark has completed 10 credit union mergers in the past three years, this is its first acquisition of a bank. Pending regulatory approvals, the buyout is expected to close by the end of 2012, the credit union said in its announcement.
Hartford Savings Bank has approximately 10,000 customers with branch locations in Hartford, Juneau and Hubertus. Landmark CU has approximately 192,400 members.
Terms of the purchase agreement were not disclosed.
“Our institutions are strikingly similar in our mutual memberships, shared beliefs in excellent customer service and focus on employee satisfaction and community involvement,” said Landmark CEO Ron Kase.
“In addition, our broader offering of products and services will bring a variety of benefits to the area. We’re a leading mortgage lender in Waukesha and Milwaukee counties and the largest auto lender in southeastern Wisconsin, so we’re looking forward to meeting the lending, saving and investment needs of the bank’s current customers and all residents of Dodge and Washington counties,” Kase said.
Landmark CU said it intends to keep all three branch locations and add Hartford Savings Bank’s 40 employees to its staff. Although the bank’s chairman/CEO, Ken Braun, had previously planned to retire in January 2013, he will stay on a community board of directors that will be established as part of the acquisition, the credit union said.
Tom Haley, the bank’s president and COO, will join Landmark CU as its regional president/chief risk officer. Haley’s position is a new one for Landmark CU and reflects the increase in size of the institution. Landmark CU also is evaluating Hartford as a location for a future regional center that would handle a range of administrative functions, the credit union said.
Discussions between the financial institutions began in June and quickly led to an agreement between the two CEOs and their respective board of directors. Since then, Landmark CU has been completing the necessary paperwork required by the NCUA, FDIC and Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.
“The acquisition of Hartford Savings Bank allows us to strategically expand our branch locations and better serve all customers within our charter area,” said Kase. “We continue to execute on our brand promise, which is to bring consistent value and convenience to our members. We do this with great rates on loans and deposits and excellent service.”