US credit union apexes Cuna and Nafcu announce merger intent

‘This merger will provide the opportunity to innovate and strengthen the industry as we respond to the banking challenges of the future’

The two main credit union associations in the USA, the Credit Union National Association (Cuna) and the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (Nafcu), have announced their intent to merge.

Should the merger take effect, they will be forming a new organisation called America’s Credit Unions, which will be led by Jim Nussle, president and CEO of Cuna who will serve as the president and CEO of the new association.

“By bringing together these two powerful credit union associations we are doubling down on our commitment to ensure the growth and prosperity of all credit unions across the nation and the 137 million Americans they serve,” said Nussle. “We look forward to uniting Cuna and Nafcu in what will be an exciting new chapter ahead, and we’re thrilled about the opportunities this will create for our members, employees, and business partners.” 

In May the board of directors and executive committees of both organisations voted unanimously to merge, but the move still needs approval from members – a process that will take place over a 60-day voting period. Nafcu president and CEO Dan Berger, who announced his intention to step aside earlier in the year, will be remain at the association until year-end, to ensure a smooth transition.

“Both Cuna and Nafcu have worked together over the years to achieve victories for the credit union industry, and now the sky is the limit. I believe this is the best path forward for the industry,” said Berger. “A new, singular association under Jim’s fervent leadership will be able to harness the combined talent of both organisations to  provide  outstanding value to our members and ensure every household in America has the best credit union to serve them.” 

If the merger is approved by members, the new association could be established no earlier than January 2024 with the aim of being fully operational by early 2025. America’s Credit Unions will initially be governed by a 16-person transition board of directors, which will include current board members from Cuna and Nafcu.

Until now Nafcu has represented federally insured credit unions while Cuna has advocated on behalf of all of the USA’s credit unions. The apexes say the merger will enable the credit union sector to speak with a single voice and “be a highly influential and effective voice for credit unions in Washington, D.C., and, in partnerships with the Leagues, across all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Guam.”

Related: World Credit Union Conference attended by over 3,000 delegates

“Both organisations have worked together to achieve great victories for the industry. This merger will provide the opportunity to innovate and strengthen the credit union industry as we respond to the banking challenges of the future,” said Lisa Ginter, chair of Cuna.  

“We have the utmost respect for both associations and their employees and look forward to working together as we integrate the two organisations to best support the credit union industry. We appreciate Dan’s relentless focus on growing Nafcu and serving its members with aggressive advocacy and ‘extreme member service,’ and wish him much luck in his future endeavours,” said Gary Grinnell, chair of Nafcu.