Merger of Equals Emerges as Growing Industry Trend
Over the last two decades, Filene Research Institute has studied credit union mergers from a variety of angles.
- In 1999, we examined 1,624 credit unions prior to their merger and their performance for three years after the merger. The resulting report, How Credit Union Mergers Affect Service to Members, concluded that in 80% of the mergers studied, members of the target credit unions benefited significantly from the merger.
- In 2007, we interviewed 66 credit union executives and board members to determine the boards of directors’ role in credit union mergers. In the resulting report, The Board’s Role in Credit Union Mergers, we determined that the CEO and management mostly led the merger, with only a quarter of the boards of directors being fully engaged in the process.
- Finally, in 2009 we constructed a complete database of U.S. credit union mergers. The report, Characteristics of Credit Union Mergers: 1984–2008, overwhelmingly depicted the typical credit union merger as a large, healthy institution acquiring a small, unhealthy institution.
Amid all this backward-looking scholarship, a weak signal has recently emerged in the credit union merger landscape – the merger of equals.