Indiana bank lines up rare credit union acquisition

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First Bank of Berne in Indiana has agreed to buy Adams County Credit Union in Monroe, Ind.

The $700 million-asset bank said it expects to acquire the $18 million-asset credit union in the first quarter. It did not disclose the price of the deal.

The move is a rarity, and it comes in a year in which 14 credit unions have agreed to buy banks. There were nine credit union-bank mergers in 2018.

The credit union is privately insured by American Share Insurance, so the merger will not be hindered by National Credit Union Administration regulations, said Keith Leggett, a retired senior economist at the American Bankers Association who frequently blogs about credit union issues.

Increased regulatory costs are making it difficult for smaller credit unions to continue operating, said Max Beer, Adams County Credit Union's chairman.

"When considering options that would provide continued service for our members, we reached out to First Bank of Berne," Beer said. "Our board ... is confident First Bank of Berne will carry on a shared vision of providing the residents, businesses and farmers of Adams County with a high level of personal service.”

First Bank of Berne has branches in Indiana and Ohio. Adams County Credit Union, established in 1946, has one office in Monroe.

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