General Credit Union and Partners 1st Federal Credit Union, both based in Fort Wayne, Ind., announced their intent to merge.

The two CUs said both boards of directors voted unanimously to approve the merger proposal. Partners 1st FCU, which currently has $283 million in assets, would be the surviving charter. Members of $84 million General CU will be asked to vote on the proposed merger “in the coming weeks,” according to a press release.

If General CU members and regulators approve, the merger is anticipated to be effective Oct. 1. The combined credit union would be the 20th largest in Indiana, the two CUs said, according to financial data as of June 30.

Officials at the two credit unions said informal exploratory discussions regarding a voluntary merger began late last year.

“The GCU board and I had given thoughtful consideration to the vision of our credit union, including the best way to grow, offer the membership more products, additional convenience and the best service possible,” Clinton Miller, CEO of General Credit Union, said in a statement. “Through this discussion, it was determined we should pursue a proactive strategic merger with another credit union that shared the same vision and values that we do. Partners 1st was that credit union.”

Carla Bienz, CEO of Partners 1st, said, “This union is a mutual agreement between two healthy credit unions with complementary visions and strengths. Because of that, we felt it was imperative that we retain all employees and we have fashioned a strategic vision and organizational structure to do just that.”

“It will be our distinct pleasure to serve the General Credit Union membership with the help of the same employees that have worked so hard for them over the years,” Bienz added.

General Credit Union was founded in 1960 by eight Fort Wayne employees of the General Telephone Company. Since then, the credit union has grown to serve more than 9,000 members through four branches.

General CU is privately insured by American Share Insurance.

Partners 1st Federal Credit Union had similar humble beginnings: seven Magnavox employees joined to charter Magnavox Employees Federal Credit Union in 1952. Today, Partners 1st FCU serves nearly 27,000 members via 23 branches in eight states.

In 2016, Partners 1st FCU had $494,716 in net income. Its net worth ratio as of Dec. 31, 2016 was 10.93 percent (“well capitalized”).

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