- The National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions and the Credit Union National Association announced a merger Tuesday to form a new organization, America’s Credit Unions.
- Jim Nussle, president and CEO of CUNA, will serve as the president and CEO of the new association if the merger goes through. The board of directors and executive committees of NAFCU and CUNA voted unanimously to merge the organizations in May.
- The new organization will be legally established no earlier than January 2024 and will start operating by early 2025, the statement said.
Members of both organizations can vote over a 60-day period, set to begin later this month.
Dan Berger, NAFCU’s president and CEO, decided to step down this year for family duty. He will continue at NAFCU until the end of the year with a focus toward a successful merger, according to Tuesday’s statement.
“By bringing together these two powerful credit union associations, we are doubling down on our commitment to ensure the growth and prosperity of all credit unions across the nation and the 137 million Americans they serve,” Nussle said in the statement. “We look forward to uniting CUNA and NAFCU in what will be an exciting new chapter ahead, and we’re thrilled about the opportunities this will create for our members, employees and business partners.”
CUNA has pursued merging with NAFCU at least twice but was rebuffed each time.
CUNA proposed a merger with NAFCU in 2008, after the former published a white paper touting the benefits of a single organization. Though six credit union CEOs purportedly signed it, NAFCU’s president at the time opposed it, saying he thought CUNA was the catalyst. NAFCU’s board of directors unanimously rejected the deal.
CUNA tried again the next year, but NAFCU similarly rejected it, saying its 800 members preferred independence.
“Both CUNA and NAFCU have worked together over the years to achieve victories for the credit union industry, and now the sky is the limit,” Berger said Tuesday. “A new, singular association under Jim’s fervent leadership will be able to harness the combined talent of both organizations to provide outstanding value to our members and ensure every household in America has the best credit union to serve them.”
The new association will be governed by a 16-person board of directors — comprising current board members from both CUNA and NAFCU.
Michael Bell, co-chair of the Financial Institutions Practice Group at the law firm Honigman, said that since consolidation was already happening at the state level, it is not surprising that consolidation had gone national, as well.
“From an outsider’s perspective, I am very much in favor of this combination,” Bell told Banking Dive in an email. “Both CUNA and NAFCU brought value to the Credit Union industry, and combining as one should bring efficiencies. Combining as one will also bring a larger and louder voice when it comes to lobbying for Credit Union interests.”