NEW BERLIN, Wis.-In the latest deal of its kind, Landmark Credit Union has agreed to acquire Hartford (Wis.) Savings Bank, a troubled, $190-million institution.

"Our institutions are strikingly similar in our mutual memberships, shared beliefs in excellent customer service and focus on employee satisfaction and community involvement," said Ron Kase, president of the $2-billion credit union. "The acquisition of Hartford Savings Bank allows us to strategically expand our branch locations and better serve all customers within our charter area."

Landmark is the third credit union to acquire a bank over the past 12 months, following Michigan's United FCU's acquisition of Griffith Savings Bank in Indiana, and Massachusetts' GFA FCU's deal to acquire Monadnock Savings Bank in New Hampshire.

Hartford chairman and CEO Ken Braun had previously planned to retire in January 2013, but said he will stay on a community board of directors and maintain an office in Hartford. Tom Haley, the bank's president and COO, will join Landmark as its first regional president and chief risk officer.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Hartford has about 10,000 customers and lost $650,000 for the first six months of 2012.


10 Mergers In 3 Years

Landmark is the product of 10 mergers over the last three years, including a merger with American CU, People's CU, Co-operative CU and Horizon CU in late 2011, but this is its first bank acquisition.

Landmark said it plans to keep all three Hartford branches open and add the bank's staff of 40 to its payroll.

The credit union said it is considering Hartford as a future regional center for administration. It currently has 489 employees who serve more than 195,000 members at 24 branches around the state.

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