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Credit union-bank merger wave reaches Arizona

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Arizona Federal Credit Union in Phoenix has agreed to acquire Pinnacle Bank in Scottsdale, Ariz.

In a letter to members posted on the credit union’s website, Ronald L. Westad, Arizona FCU’s president and CEO, said this transaction will mark the first time a credit union will acquire a bank in the Grand Canyon State.

The number of credit unions buying banks has increased over the last few years as management teams look for ways to boost earnings and grow.

Once the merger is completed, Arizona FCU will offer additional mortgage products, including construction-to-permanent financing and jumbo mortgages, and expanded small business services, SBA financing options and commercial lending services. The $1.7 billion-asset credit union has a dozen branches in the greater Phoenix area.

The $236 million-asset Pinnacle Bank has four branches in Tempe, Scottsdale and Phoenix.

The merged entity will have more than $1.8 billion in assets and more than 127,000 members.

The merger will result in no job cuts at the credit union. About 60 Pinnacle employees will join Arizona FCU, Westad said.

“The integration of Pinnacle Bank’s core competencies in the real estate and commercial lending areas, with Arizona Federal’s core competencies in the area of individual and personal finance will create significant long-term value for all our stakeholders,” Westad said in a press release on Monday.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Its financial terms were not disclosed.

Arizona FCU posted net income of about $5.2 million in the first quarter of 2019, an 8.1% drop from the same period of 2018.

Pinnacle Bank reported first-quarter net income of $351,000, more than double the year-earlier amount.

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