RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Altura Credit Union on Monday said it has completed the merger of Visterra Credit Union, creating a $1.15 billion CU.

Even before their merger, Altura and Visterra were the two largest credit unions in Riverside County, Calif. The two CUs said in a press release their combination, "creates a stronger, more competitive financial institution that is better positioned to face the challenges of today's new economy, while effectively meeting member needs."

The new Altura Credit Union now has combined net worth of approximately $122 million, 371 employees, 118,000 members, and 14 branches in Riverside County.  The credit union will continue to operate from Altura's headquarters, here.

Mark Hawkins, president and CEO of Altura CU, will continue in that role in the merged organization. As previously announced, Visterra CEO Robert Cameron will be retiring Sept. 30. All seven members of Visterra's board of directors have joined Altura's board as part of the merger.

In addition to approval from both boards, the merger received the approval of Visterra's members, as well as the required state and federal regulatory agencies, the two CUs said.

"By merging Altura and Visterra, we can more effectively meet our members' financial services needs now and in the future," said Hawkins. "We have created a much stronger regional entity for our members. As such, Altura is ideally situated to deliver on the credit union promise of 'people before profits,' which is the driving force of all cooperative financial institutions."

Cameron said, "I am confident that all our members will readily see the benefits of this merger as we combine the strengths of two local financial institutions with complementary philosophies and a strong community commitment."

Just last week, Altura CU reported its streak of consecutive quarters with positive net income reached 17 quarters.

Independent Operation Until March 1

The conversion of the new credit union's core operating system will not be completed until March 1, 2016. Until then, the branches of the two institutions will continue to operate separately, although members will be able to conduct financial transactions using the CO-OP Shared Branching Network.

With the completion of the core conversion, all signage, websites, branches, ATMs, mobile banking and more will reflect the Altura name as of March 2, 2016.

Prior to the merger, Visterra Credit Union, headquartered in Moreno Valley, Calif., had $335.6 million in assets and approximately 34,000 members. Altura Credit Union had $757.3 million in assets and nearly 84,000 members.

Originally chartered as March Air Force Base Credit Union, Visterra CU has been providing financial services since 1953. In 2006, the credit union changed its name to Visterra to better reflect its current field of membership, which includes March Air Reserve Base and all of Riverside County.

Altura CU was chartered in 1957. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Riverside and Orange counties, as well as selected cities in San Bernardino and San Diego counties.

Subscribe Now

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the credit union industry

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.