COLUMBIA, S.C. – In an unusual move last week, members of the $344 million Heritage Trust FCU, who have joined the CU through its Columbia, South Carolina branches, voted to determine whether their branches remains with Heritage or transfer to the $1.2 billion South Carolina FCU.

Bill Maher, a senior vice president with Heritage said that the vote had been lopsided in favor of the transfer which both credit unions had agreed to put into place after a management change at Heritage, Maher said.

“Our new management felt that we could do better by focusing on the Charleston market, where we have a strong presence already,” Maher explained. “Columbia already has a number of credit unions present and just wasn’t as good a fit for us,” he said.

Heritage put the new branches into place after it applied for, and received, an underserved area in Columbia. The area will transfer along with the branches, deposits, members and loans, Maher said.

Money will change hands, he added, but only enough to make sure neither CU will take a loss on the transaction, Maher said. “The transfer is being structured as a net wash,” he said.

South Carolina FCU will benefit from picking up another two branches to supplement is presence in Columbia which it has already started to establish, Maher explained.