Florida Credit Union competitors announce $700M merger

by. Peter Strozniak

The $299 million State Employees Credit Union has agreed to merge with its competitor $408 million First Florida Credit Union. If approved by members and regulators, the combined institution would rank among the state’s top 20 cooperatives in the Sunshine State, with more than $700 million in assets, 15 branches and nearly 60,000 members.

While the Jacksonville, Fla.-based credit unions in a prepared statement said both institutions are financially healthy, SECU has had financial challenges over the last five years, according to a review of its NCUA financial performance reports.

“These are two financially healthy institutions with similar assets coming together to expand our branch footprint in key markets throughout the state,” said Chris Boivin, a spokesperson for the management team planning the merger and SECU’s vice president of communications and business development. “Our products and services will also be expanded, and we will be able to focus on innovations that enhance the overall member experience.”

Although SECU reported a net worth of 20% last year, compared to a peer average of 10%, its total loans fell from $142 million in 2009 to $73 million in 2013. Additionally, NCUA financial performance reports show the credit union’s loan income dropped from $7.6 million in 2009 to $3.6 million in 2013.

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