Proposed merger in California would create $1.3B institution

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LA Financial Credit Union in Pasadena, Calif., has agreed to merge into Ventura County Credit Union in California.

The merger will create an institution with $1.3 billion in assets that serves approximately 120,000 members in two states.

If all approvals are received, the proposed merger is expected to be finalized in early 2020, the two CUs said in a press release on Thursday. Regulators must first sign off on the deal, then members of LA Financial would vote on the merger later this year.

No branches will be closed in the combination of the two entities, the credit unions noted. LAFCU said it will be branded as LA Financial Credit Union, a division of VCCU. In addition, Havasu Community Credit Union – currently a division of LAFCU – will be branded as a division of VCCU.

The combined CU will have 12 branches: eight in Ventura County, three in Los Angeles County and one in Lake Havasu, Ariz. Ventura County CU said it will maintain community development staff in both Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

Joe Schroeder, president and CEO of the $889 million-asset Ventura County CU, will retain that title. Carol Galizia, currently president and CEO of the $416 million-asset LAFCU, will become chief operating officer of the combined credit union. The headquarters will remain in Ventura, with an operations center in Pasadena.

“We look forward to welcoming LAFCU to our family,” Schroeder said in the press release. “By combining our assets and expertise with LAFCU’s, we are able to better serve our current and future members, offer greater opportunities for our employees, and continue to expand our community involvement. It’s a combination where everyone wins.”

Ventura County Credit Union was chartered in 1950. Today, it is the largest credit union headquartered in Ventura County, with eight offices and has more than 80,000 members.

In its most recent call report, VCCU said it earned roughly $5.4 million in the first six months of this year, up 18.3% from the first half of 2018. As of June 30, 2019, it was considered well capitalized with a net worth ratio of 9.65%.

LA Financial Credit Union was founded in 1937 and currently has 29,000 members. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Los Angeles County or Lake Havasu City, Ariz., the latter via its division of Havasu Community Credit Union.

In LAFCU’s most recent call report, it said it had $1.12 million in net income for the first half of 2019, down 67.5% from the same period a year earlier. As of June 30, it was considered well capitalized with a net worth ratio of 9.20%.

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