Most Community Banks Won’t Sell to Credit Unions

A majority of community bankers say they would not sell their institutions to a credit union, even if the credit union offered the best price, according to a new survey conducted by the IntraFi Network.

In the survey of leaders from 392 community banks, 53% said they would not sell to a credit union, while 47% said they would sell to whoever offered the best price, even if it is a credit union. Among community bank presidents, 66.7% said they would not sell to a credit union. When the same question was posed to CEOs, 55.68% said they would refuse to sell to a credit union.

Among community banks having $1 billion or less in assets, 55.12% said they would not sell to a credit union. However, 54.88% of the community banks between $1 billion and $10 billion said they would sell to whoever offered the best price.

Bankers from the Midwest were the least likely to be willing to sell to a credit union—63.58% said they would refuse such a deal. Bankers from the south were the most likely to be willing to sell to a credit union—55.39% said they would be fine with such a deal.

The results come as lobbyists from credit unions and banks battle over whether such sales should be permitted. Groups such as the Independent Community Bankers of America and the American Bankers Association argue that credit unions are leveraging their tax exemption to purchase banks.

Credit union trade groups such as the Credit Union National Association and the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions contend that the sales simply are the result of the free market economy.

The survey was conducted between Oct. 1 and Oct. 15. The IntraFi Network is the largest deposit services provider. The questions were asked as part of the company’s Bank Executive Business Outlook Survey for the third quarter of 2020.

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