GFA FCU Completes Purchase of New Hampshire Bank

CU Times - BY PETER STROZNIAK - December 28, 2012  

GFA Federal Credit Union President/CEO Tina Sbrega said the $6.4 million cash acquisition of the $83 million Monadnock Community Bank in Peterborough, N.H., will be finalized at the end of business Friday, marking the first purchase of a stock savings bank by a credit union in the United States.

Last December, the $1.3 billion United Federal Credit Union in Michigan bought Griffiths Savings Bank in Indiana for about $80 million, the first time a federally chartered credit union purchased the assets of a state-chartered, FDIC-insured mutual savings bank.

The $353 million GFA FCU in Gardner, Mass., which agreed to purchase the New Hampshire community bank in March, recently secured all of the required regulatory approvals.

“We will be gaining 4,000 new members (from Monadnock),” Sbrega said Friday. “From all indications the (new) members are very excited to have a credit union closer to their market. They have an appreciation for the cooperative model, so we are very confident we will retain a majority of the (Monadnock) members and grow.”

Monadnock Community Bank’s Peterborough branch will remain open, giving GFA its second New Hampshire location. Six years ago, the credit union opened a branch in Rindge.

GFA also operates Massachusetts branch locations in Ashburnham, Fitchburg, Gardner, Hubbardston, Rutland and Winchendon.

All but four of Monadnock’s employees will continue working at GFA, said Sbrega.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be in the Peterborough market,” said Sbrega. “All along there was tremendous synergies between the two institutions in terms of member service and community service. We are going to keep delivering those services and bring the expanded products and services and more branches to the customers of Monadnock.”

As part of this new phase for GFA and its members, the credit union announced in November that it has developed a new marketing look and rebranding messages to communicate the advantages of belonging to GFA.

“We want our members to feel good about banking with us,” Sbrega said. “Our ‘Feel Better at GFA’ rebranding will focus on inviting people to learn more about the value of belonging to a credit union and banking with us. As a credit union, we are able to offer lower fees and better rates because of our cooperative structure as member-owned.”