Bank Buys Advance
The $2.3 billion Landmark Credit Union planned to convert the IT and operational systems of the $190 million Hartford Mutual Savings Bank this week, finalizing the New Berlin, Wis.-based credit union's acquisition of its first bank.
Meanwhile, the acquisition of the $21 million Flint River National Bank in Camilla, Ga., by the $255 million Five Star Credit Union in Dothan, Ala., has been essentially approved by the Alabama Credit Union Administration, pending approval from the NCUA, said Robert A. Steensma, president/CEO of Five Star CU.
Additionally, the acquisition has been approved by a “substantial majority” of the bank's shareholders in January, Flint River National Bank CEO Scott Gatlin said. The deal still needs the green light from the OCC, FDIC and NCUA.
Landmark CU received approvals from state and federal regulators last year.
Jay Magulski, president/CEO of Landmark CU, said the signage at Hartford Mutual Savings Banks’ three branches in Hartford, Juneau and Hubertus, Wis., is expected to be changed during the first weekend of March as well. The bank's 35 employees will be retained.
Magulski would not speculate how many of the bank's 8,000 customers would become credit union members.
“Hartford's locations are in our chartered locations already and we also amended our bylaws so that the bank's customers can become our members,” said Magulski. “We are all about retaining and expanding all existing relationships we do have, so we will be disappointed if they (bank's customers) don't choose to become and remain members of our credit union.”
In addition to the bank acquisition, Landmark CU has completed about a dozen credit union mergers over the past three years. Its last credit union merger deal was announced in January 2013 with the $13 million Badger Campus Credit Union in New Berlin, Wis.
Magulski indicated Landmark CU intends to keep growing through mergers and/or bank acquisitions.
“We are always looking for smart ways to grow our organization,” he said. “When we look at the three key constituents we come to work every day to serve – our members, our associates and the communities in which we do business – we believe all three benefit from a successfully growing Landmark Credit Union, so mergers have been one pathway of successful growth for us over a number of years. We have had a history of doing successful mergers and now a (bank) acquisition.”
It is unknown when the Five Star CU acquisition of Flint River National Bank will be finalized.
“We are still awaiting word from the Office of the Comptroller Currency, the FDIC and of course, the NCUA,” said Steensma. “Our state regulator, the Alabama Credit Union Administration, has essentially approved the transaction pending NCUA approval,”
The 24,059-member credit union has already secured its community charter to serve Mitchell County, Ga., which will enable Flint River National Bank customers to automatically become Five Star CU members, Steensma said.
The bank's five employees are expected to retain their positions once the acquisition is completed.
“There is a lot of curiosity from our customers and they seem to be excited about the acquisition,” said Gatlin.
If approved by federal regulators, the Five Star CU/Flint National Bank deal will represent the fifth acquisition of a credit union acquiring a bank over the past two years.
In addition to Five Star/Flint National Bank and Landmark CU/Hartford Savings Bank, other acquisition deals included:
- The $1.2 billion Municipal Employees Credit Union in Baltimore acquired the $62 million Advance Mutual Savings Bank in Baltimore in 2013.
- The $1.5 billion United Federal Credit Union in St. Joseph, Mich., purchased Griffith Savings Bank in 2012.
- The $352 million GFA Federal Credit Union of Gardner, Mass., bought Monadnock Community Bank in 2012.