Ohio CU buys bank branch

Phil Buell

Indiana’s United Fidelity Bank is selling a branch in Ohio to Superior Credit Union, Lima, Ohio.

The branch, located at 411 Ludlow Avenue in Cincinnati, comes with $19 million in deposits. The deal brings Superior CU’s total branches to 22, all in Ohio.

“We are very excited to expand our branch network and presence in the Cincinnati market. We think this is an excellent geographic fit for us and look forward to expanding our business relationships in this market,” said Phil Buell, president and CEO of the $918 million Superior Credit Union.

Evansville-based United Fidelity will have 17 branches after the deal closes, none of them in Ohio. The bank was an active acquirer of failed institutions, including one in 2017 and two in 2015.

“The sale of our single Cincinnati location will allow us to more closely focus on our core markets and help provide the resources required to support our strategic initiatives,” said Donald R. Neel, president and CEO of United Fidelity. “We appreciate and thank our Cincinnati employees and the community served by the Clifton Branch for their support. We are confident that Superior Credit Union will continue to serve them well.”

Superior was represented in the deal by Michigan attorney Michael Bell, who has been instrumental in many of the CU-bank deals in recent years.

“This is just another indication credit unions have embraced non-organic growth via acquisition on the bank side of the deal,” said Bell, attorney and counselor at Royal Oak, Mich.-based Howard & Howard Bell.“The pace of both kinds of deals—whole bank buys and branch acquisitions—is picking up. We’ve already seen two bank deals since the start of the year and more are coming. This is our first branch deal to announce and another should announce within the next 30 days.”

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019.