Volunteer recruitment struggles push small Pa. credit union to merge

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State College Federal Credit Union, a $21 million-asset institution in State College, Pa., is seeking member approval to merge into the $96 million-asset Horizon CU in nearby Williamsport, Pa.

In a notice to members, SCFCU said the decision to seek out a merger partner was spurred in part by struggles to recruit board members.

“Despite our success, there has been a lack of interested members to serve as volunteers on our board of directors and supervisory committee,” the credit union said in an online FAQ about the merger. “Volunteerism makes up the heart of the credit union movement, and a lack of interested members to serve in board and committee positions presented us with a challenge to continue operations as we currently have. Despite having a solid succession plan in place, without the number of volunteers to oversee SCFCU our successors would be placed in a position of having to merge.”

Horizon was selected as a merger partner in part because its member culture and employee culture are similar to State College's, and the latter's members will gain access to new products and services through the deal, along with higher rates on deposits, expanded branch hours and more.

All State College FCU staff members are expected to continue on at Horizon once the merger is completed, though some will serve in new roles. A move to a larger location is also expected in late 2021.

State College FCU earned just over $133,000 in the first three quarters of the year, a decline of about 14% compared with the same period last year, driven by rising noninterest expenses and a decline in interest and noninterest revenues, according to call report data from the National Credit Union Administration.

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