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Citing recession concerns, Chesterfield FCU finds merger partner

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Chesterfield Federal Credit Union has agreed to merge into Virginia Credit Union.

The $90 million-asset Chesterfield made the decision to partner with another institution because of concerns about weathering another economic downturn while remaining well capitalized, Chairman Scott Zaremba said in a notice on the institution’s website.

Zaremba noted that the last recession was difficult for the institution, and it was better to partner with another credit union now while Chesterfield was still financially strong. Chesterfield lost more than $400,000 in 2008 and 2009, according to call report data, but reported a net income of nearly $430,000 through the first three quarters of 2019, more than double from the same period a year earlier.

“We made this decision to ensure the long-term sustainability and expansion of services to our members,” Zaremba said in the notice. “With growing costs for technology, compliance and security, we believe such a step has become necessary. It is increasingly difficult for small and mid-size credit unions like ours to provide the range of services that members deserve and expect.”

Chesterfield members will also gain access to additional services that the $3.7 billion-asset Virginia Credit Union offers, including expanded online and mobile technology and more credit card choices, the notice on Chesterfield’s site said. Virginia Credit Union has over a dozen branches and more than 290,000 members.

Both institutions are headquartered in North Chesterfield, Va.

Chesterfield’s members will vote on the proposed merger in January. If approved, the transaction is expected to be completed in early 2020 with integration happening over several weeks, according to a press release from Virginia Credit Union on Thursday. Chesterfield’s three branches are expected to be converted to Virginia Credit Union locations.

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