EAGLE BUTTE, S.D. – CR Community First, a tiny credit union serving the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation and one of just two dozen credit unions chartered over the past five years, has been merged into giant Black Hills FCU, the state’s largest credit union.

The Native American credit union, founded in 2007 to serve one of the poorest communities in the country, is another of a growing number of startups to throw in the towel lately, following the recent mergers of Michigan’s two-year-old Inspire Community Development FCU and of REALTORS FCU in Rockville, Md., and March’s failure of year-old Shepherd’s FCU, a CDCU startup in North Carolina.

CR Community First reached a peak of $1.4 million in assets in March 2010, before declining to just $720,000, and had net worth of only 2% at mid-year 2012.

The credit union was sponsored by the Cheyenne River Housing Authority and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Council

Rapid City-based Black Hills FCU has $935 million in assets and serves 57,000 members at 11 branches. The credit union said in a statement that it will keep open the former CR Community First member service center and branch in Eagle Butte until a permanent site is secured.


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