Advia Credit Union’s proposed acquisition of Mid America Bank, a small community bank in southern Wisconsin, is the kind of deal that occurs infrequently in the financial services industry. The last instance in Michigan of a credit union acquiring a bank was the 2011 deal in which United Federal Credit Union of St. Joseph acquired Griffith Savings Bank in northwestern Indiana, which had assets of $81 million.
“It’s a relatively unusual, but certainly not an unheard of circumstance,” said Ken Ross, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Michigan Credit Union League. The credit union trade publication CU Today reported that eight mergers have occurred since 2011 between U.S. banks and credit unions, including the United Federal Credit Union deal for Griffith Savings Bank.
Bank acquisitions by credit unions occur usually when a bank is in distress, or is too small to attract the interests of another bank and “has limited opportunities” to pursue, said Jason Byrd, managing director of the financial institutions practice at Charter Capital Partners in Grand Rapids. “I don’t see this as an exit path for most banks,” Byrd said. “You could see them happening, but there will be special circumstances.” more