A merger that’s in the works between Access Credit Union and Crosstown Civic Credit Union could create the second-largest credit union in Manitoba.
The boards of both credit unions say that detailed due diligence will likely take a couple of months before they would bring such a proposal to their respective memberships for a vote.
A joint release said that if both boards recommend a merger, they would seek membership approval in the spring of 2020.
Access Credit Union is currently the fourth largest in the province with more than $3.1 billion in assets, 17 branches, 260 employees and 54,000 members.
Crosstown Civic Credit Union is the fifth largest with more than $2.6 billion in assets, nine branches, 160 employees and more than 31,000 members.
"We know that mergers are happening at a rapid pace and that they are key to the long-term success of the Manitoba credit union system," said Curt Letkeman, chairman of the board of directors of Access Credit Union. "In Crosstown Civic, we have found a common heritage based on co-operative principles and we are similar-sized organizations that we believe will benefit our members."
Four years ago, Access made two attempts to work out a merger with Assiniboine Credit Union, the second largest in the province, but came up just short in the membership vote.
"We are very excited about the potential of this partnership as both credit unions have a strong commitment to putting the needs of our members first," said Ingrid Loewen, chairwoman of Crosstown Civic Credit Union. "We are in the early stages of exploring a merger and look forward to the next step — confirming our positive assumption as we work to develop an in-depth business case. We will continue to engage and inform our members as things progress and confirm our final recommendation to the members as soon as we are able."
With a combined $5.7 billion in assets under administration, the merged entity would be second to only Steinbach Credit Union in Manitoba with $6.3 billion in assets.
Assiniboine Credit Union has $4.8 billion in assets.
Martin Cash has been writing a column and business news at the Free Press since 1989. Over those years he’s written through a number of business cycles and the rise and fall (and rise) in fortunes of many local businesses.