We spend a lot of time in our industry talking about the future. As board members, that conversation can include ways to grow, thrive, and even to survive in this competitive financial landscape. In your role as a director for the credit union, talk of merging is bound to be discussed. It doesn’t have to be a hushed discussion treated as a naughty word or “the one who shall not be named.”
Whether your credit union feels you need to merge into another credit union to serve your members best, or look for other credit unions to merge into your own to assist with your growth strategy, make sure you approach it for the right reasons. NCUA has an excellent paper Truth in Mergers that lays out benefits, warning signs, and best practices. Even if your credit union has no intention of being a survivor or partner in a merger, the discussion is one worth having around this resource.
In fact, trends point to the fact that mergers in your market are likely to happen. Being prepared and discussing options and strategies openly doesn’t obligate you to be part of one, but it might help you be prepared if you are approached regarding one. Mergers don’t have to be “the m-word” if they are used more as a strategy and less because of a lack of planning. In fact, the real goal might be never have to say the “f-word”… you know the one, failure!