Latest CU Mega-Merger Beckons In California

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Kinecta FCU and NuVision FCU said this afternoon they have filed an official merger application with NCUA to create the latest credit union giant with almost $5 billion in assets and serving 300,000 members at 51 branches in southern California.

Kinecta, the one-time $4.2 billion credit union that weathered a difficult few years before returning to profitability last year, has been run by NuVision’s CEO Roger Ballard for the past year in preparation for the combination. During that time Ballard turned the credit union giant around, from $125 million of losses in 2008 and 2009, to a $15 million net for 2010 and a $900,000 net for the first quarter of 2011, and easing the way towards regulatory approval for the merger.

The two credit unions are a natural fit as merger partners, with shared Southern California roots in the aerospace industry and complementary branch networks, product/service offerings and membership bases. Ballard will become CEO of the new combined organization, which will retain the Kinecta name and charter.

"Not only will this merger bring members more branches and products, it will build an even stronger foundation for long-term success,” said Darryl Johnson, chairman of the Kinecta board.

The merger follows recent combinations of Oregon’s First Tech CU with California’s Addison Avenue FCU to form a $5 billion credit union; of Seattle’ Watermark CU with Tacoma’s Sound CU to create a $1.2 billion credit union; and of Florida’s Space Coast CU with Eastern Financial Florida CU to make a $3.2 billion credit union.

Manhattan Beach-based Kinecta, which now has $3.5 billion in assets, was originally Hughes Aircraft Employees FCU and is the parent of Nix Check Chasing, the biggest check cashing chain in greater Los Angeles. NuVision, with $1.3 billion in assets, is based in nearby Huntington Beach and was chartered to serve employees of Douglas Aircraft.


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