Magazine article American Banker

Two Big SoCal CUs Propose to Merge

Magazine article American Banker

Two Big SoCal CUs Propose to Merge

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael Bartlett

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- The two largest credit unions in Riverside County, Calif., on Thursday announced their intention to merge to create a $1.1 billion institution serving 118,000 members in the "Inland Empire" region of Southern California.

Visterra Credit Union, headquartered in Moreno Valley, Calif., currently has $335.6 million in assets and approximately 34,000 members. Altura Credit Union, here, has $757.3 million in assets and nearly 84,000 members.

Altura CU would be the surviving institution.

The two institutions said their agreement to merge has been approved by both boards of directors. Approval is pending from state and federal regulators, and Visterra CU's members must vote. If all approvals are granted, the anticipated merger date is July 1.

Altura's Operations and Technology Center, on Campus Parkway in Riverside, will serve as the merged institution's headquarters. Robert Cameron, Visterra's CEO will retire and Mark Hawkins, current CEO of Altura CU, will assume the reins of the combined credit union.

Members of Visterra's management team will join Altura's management team. In addition, all seven members of Visterra's board of directors will join Altura's board, "to ensure representative governance for all members," the two CUs said.

'Complementary Operating Philosophies'

"Our two Inland Empire-based credit unions have complementary operating philosophies and extensive knowledge of our communities," said Altura's Hawkins in a statement. "Both organizations successfully faced significant challenges as the local economy bottomed out during the 'Great Recession. …

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