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Nebraska credit union set for merger just two years after opening

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Community Hope Federal Credit Union in Lincoln, Neb., has agreed to merge into Cobalt Credit Union in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

The National Credit Union Administration and the Iowa Credit Union League had contacted the $992 million-asset Cobalt about a possible merger with Community Hope, according to a press release on Monday from Cobalt. Cobalt’s board approved the transaction after completing due diligence. It is now awaiting approval from NCUA and state regulators.

“This merger will allow Cobalt Credit Union the opportunity to serve more members in Lincoln and will provide Community Hope Federal Credit Union members access to more products, better rates and continued great service,” Gail DeBoer, president and CEO of Cobalt Credit Union, said in the press release.

A member vote will not be held for the merger, which is expected to be completed on Oct. 1.

Community Hope has operated for less than two years and has not turned an annual profit in that time. The credit union lost about $93,000 for the first six months of this year, compared with losing roughly $114,000 for the same period last year, according to call report data.

The credit union is the ninth largest in Nebraska with about $372,000 in assets and over 200 members.

Community Hope's CEO Mark Koller is set to retire once the merger is completed. He will then serve as an associate board member.

After the merger is completed, Cobalt will have 27 branches. It serves more than 110,000 members.

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