Back in the late 1970s there were approximately 20,000 federally insured credit unions in the US.  Fast forward to today and the number is down to less than 7,700 credit unions.

Our industry faces many challenges moving forward in the form of rising competition, new imposed regulations, as well as the long-term corporate stabilization and special NCUSIF premiums, a decrease in loan origination, increase deposit growth, low yielding investments prospects, and tighter margins. Collectively, these challenges have tempered growth opportunities for many credit unions.  Many are looking to the prospect of mergers as a means of building asset size, adding members, increasing net worth and/or expanding market share.  Mergers enable credit unions to increase their geographical footprint, enhance their technological capabilities, build their branch infrastructure or solve human resource challenges such as management succession issues.

Whether your the acquiring (acquirer) credit union or the one being acquired (acquiree) having a well-respected and knowledgeable credit union advocate and leader to assist in evaluating and acting upon one of the most important transactions that a credit union may consider-a merger with another credit union- is in the best interests of the credit union membership.  A merger has a life of its own; it contains a cycle from inception through “closing the deal” and the actual merging of the credit unions.

A merger can also be a tremendously emotional experience for volunteers, employees and members of a credit union.

Clearly, if considering a merger one may need to balance a number of competing interests as you begin the journey and undertake in determining whether to proceed with a merger opportunity.

I can assist the existing management and board in the determining the future of the credit union. If a decision to merge is made retaining outside assistance is highly recommended as this person can further provide guidance during the steps in the “life cycle” that the organization may encounter through the merger process and to raise pertinent legal, regulatory, accounting, and business issues that you may wish to consider in your credit union’s journey through the merger process.

This blog entry you have just read was written by Edward Lis who is a former senior executive of three different credit unions. If you enjoyed this article I encourage you to learn more about Edward by visiting or by calling 518-420-2108.