APPLE VALLEY, Minn. and EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — In a first for the credit union industry, one credit union is attempting a hostile takeover of another credit union. Wings Financial Federal Credit Union is seeking to merge with Continental Federal Credit Union despite the latter’s repeated rebuffs. Wings is now in the midst of an aggressive campaign to persuade Continental members to help move the merger proposal forward. On March 9, the $1.6 billion Wings Financial submitted a merger proposal to the board of directors at $177 million Continental FCU. Paul Parish, president/CEO of Wings Financial, said the merger would help bring both CUs together to serve the “busy lifestyle” of aviation employees through an expanded branch and free ATM network. Continental’s members would also have access to lower loan rates, higher savings rates, lower fees and better service, Parish noted.

In its pitch, Wings Financial said Continental members would receive a one-time merger payment of approximately $200 per member if the merger were completed. Wings Financial said Continental members with a “typical” basket of financial products such as mortgages, car loans, savings accounts and certificates of deposit could see as much as an extra $974 in value every year. Should the merger go through, Wings Financial would operate in Continental FCU’s current locations staffed with the same employees, according to Wings Financial.

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