Panama City, Florida-based First National Bank Northwest Florida may be bought by a credit union, after all — just not the one that sought to acquire it last year.
A few months after First National Bank and Harvesters Credit Union mutually terminated their proposed tie-up, Innovations Financial Credit Union agreed to buy the bank for an undisclosed sum, the companies said Tuesday. The timeline of the deal is unspecified.
With the deal, three credit unions announced plans to buy banks over a span of two days.
Michigan State University Federal Credit Union said Monday it would buy Illinois-based McHenry Savings Bank — a deal worth $36.3 million to $38.2 million, depending on the equity value of McHenry’s stock.
Dothan, Alabama-based Five Star Credit Union, earlier that day, agreed to buy Macon, Georgia-based OneSouth Bank in an all-cash deal of undisclosed value.
Acquiring First National Bank will boost Innovations to $570 million in assets, from $399 million. The combined institution will operate eight branches with roughly 100 team members, according to a press release seen by Banking Dive.
Innovations CEO David Southall will serve as chief executive of the combined institution once the transaction closes, pending regulatory approval.
The deal with First National Bank will allow Innovations to “expand our branch and team member network, enhance our services, and create greater value for our members and community,” Southall said.
“This is an exciting step forward that will shape the future of both of our organizations in significant ways,” he added.
First National Bank did not return request for comment beyond the press release.
“By combining our two local institutions’ strengths, expertise and resources, we will continue our mission and commitment to deliver exceptional financial solutions and build upon the trusted relationships that have been our foundation,” First National Bank CEO Angie Barger said in a statement. “Our shared history and achievements have paved the way for this exciting merger, and I am confident that together we will create a stronger, more vibrant financial institution poised to meet our customers' evolving needs.”
The Innovations-First National Bank deal is the eighth tie-up between a bank and a credit union announced this year — and half of those were proposed in August.
Christopher Olsen, managing partner at Olsen Palmer, told Banking Dive on Tuesday that he was seeing “the start of a resurgence of bank M&A activity.”
The acceleration of activity will likely irk trade groups like the Independent Community Bankers of America, which argues that credit unions’ tax exemption allows them to offer a higher buying price and helps them grow more freely than banks.
Bank acquisitions by credit unions are off pace this year compared with 2022, when a record-tying 16 deals were struck. Ten credit union-bank deals had been proposed last year by this point. That 10th one, coincidentally, was Harvesters’ planned acquisition of First National Bank that the institutions scuttled this spring.