Report: Credit union bank buys reached record high this year

Credit unions have acquired a record number of banks this year following a spike of activity in the final weeks of 2022, according to S&P Global data

The record-setting 14th deal occurred Dec. 16 when LGE Community CU, Marietta, Georgia, agreed to buy Greater Community Bank, Rome, Georgia. The previous record of 13 was set in 2019. 

Nine CU-bank deals were announced in the first half of the year, according to S&P, but only one was reported from July 1 through October. That again picked up this month as three credit unions announced bank purchases, including Michigan-based Dort Financial Credit Union’s acquisition of Flagler Bank, West Palm Beach, Florida, and Iowa-based Veridian Credit Union’s buy of American Investors Bank and Mortgage, Eden Prairie, Minn. 

According to S&P, the total assets of bank targets involved in CU deals reached $5.49 billion this year, well above the previous record of $3.92 billion in 2019. The total average assets of the selling banks was $392.2 million, another record high.

Michael Bell, partner and co-leader of the financial institutions practice group at law firm Honigman LLP, said in the report that his firm announced a record number of such transactions as well, including LGE Community CU. “Without the economic tumult, there would have been over 20 deals announced,” he said. “If things clear up soon, be prepared to hear a lot of deal announcements in 2023.”