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Arkansas newspaper credit union preps its last edition

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Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Federal Credit Union in Little Rock has agreed to merge into Jacksonville-based Arkansas Federal Credit Union.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette FCU was originally chartered in 1926 to serve employees of what is today the state’s largest newspaper, though its field of membership was later expanded to serve a variety of newspaper, television and digital entities throughout the state. It is the latest entry in a trend of credit unions chartered to serve the newspaper industry closing their doors and merging into larger institutions.

The National Credit Union Administration has approved the transaction, the credit unions said in a press release on Wednesday. Members of Arkansas Democrat-Gazette still need to vote on the deal.

Once the systems conversion is completed, members of the $2.9 million-asset Arkansas Democrat-Gazette will have access to a variety of financial products, such as credit cards, home and auto loans, and small- to medium-sized business accounts, according to the press release.

“We are thrilled to be able to make a difference in the lives of more Arkansans by expanding our full suite of products and services to the members of Arkansas Democrat-Gazette FCU,” Rodney Showmar, president and CEO of the $1.2 billion Arkansas FCU, said in the press release. “Arkansas Federal is known for providing extremely competitive loan rates, high deposit rates and friendly, professional service. And we look forward to serving our new members, which will provide them with more options for managing their finances both in-branch and online.”

Arkansas FCU earned $5.8 million through June 30, up about 14% from the same period a year earlier, according to call report data.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette lost roughly $44,000 through the first two quarters, compared with a loss of almost $39,000 for the same period in 2018, according to call report data.

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