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Community-chartered Maine credit unions plan merger

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Penobscot County Federal Credit Union in Old Town, Maine, has announced plans to merge with The County FCU in Presque Isle, Maine.

Steve Baillargeon, president and CEO of Penobscot County FCU, plans to retire following completion of the deal, but has announced plans to stay on as part of the transition team for a minimum of six months if needed. No job losses are expected as a result of the merger, and Ryan Ellsworth, president and CEO of The County FCU, will lead the combined organization.

“In planning for the future, both credit unions realized that a combined organization would bring much greater strength and competitive advantages than each could provide on its own,” Baillargeon said in a press release on Friday. “Very simply, we want to bring members the best value from their credit union while ensuring that we continue to grow and thrive in an ever-changing financial services industry.”

PCFCU earned $180,000 in the first half of 2019, up almost 49% from the same period a year earlier, according to call report data from the National Credit Union Administration. The County FCU earned $805,000 in the first six months of the year, down about 15% from 2018.

“We recognize the opportunity for achieving strategic growth and market expansion through partnership in an ever-changing competitive environment,” Ellsworth said in the press release. “For the membership the combined credit union will offer greater levels of member service, diversification of risk, better accessibility and will allow us to make the right long-term infrastructure and technology investments to remain competitive.”

The County FCU serves about 19,000 members with $247 million in assets while PCFCU serves just under 10,800 members with $75 million in assets.

The merger is still subject to member approval, but both institutions are aiming to have the deal done by April 1.

The end of summer has been a busy time for credit unions in Maine. Along with this merger, Westbrook, Maine-based Infinity CU recently announced plans to merge into Illinois-based Vibrant CU, while a long-awaited credit union for farmers in the Pine Tree State finally received a charter from NCUA.

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