Wings Financial of Minnesota Makes First Bank Purchase by Credit Union of the Year
Bank acquisitions by credit unions started in 2021 as they did in 2020: with an initiative by the Wings Financial Credit Union of Minnesota.
The Apple Valley-based credit union with $ 6.7 billion in assets is buying its other Minnesota lender, Brainerd Savings & Loan, it said Monday, according to the Minneapolis / St. Paul’s Business Journal and American banker. The deal, which requires federal and state approval, is expected to be completed by May 31. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Wings announced in February 2020 that it would acquire Mora, Minnesota National Bank district in the first bank purchase by a credit union last year.
The acquisition of tax-paying banks by tax-exempt credit unions sparked a backlash from the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), which launched a campaign end of 2019 aimed at curbing the trend. Credit unions in 2019 bought 16 banks, an acceleration from nine the year before. This number rose to seven in 2020.
Wings CEO Frank Weidner said he was drawn to Brainerd because of the bank’s mortgage business – a loan silo the credit union wants to develop – and its geography.
“We already have a good number of members there, certainly seasonal members,” he said, according to the Business Journal. “[Cabin lending is] something that we get a reasonable number of inquiries from our members. “
Wings assumes the members, liabilities and assets of Brainerd, which are valued at $ 72.4 million. Wings has made an effort in recent years to expand beyond the Twin Cities. Including the Brainerd branch alone, Wings will have 25 locations in Minnesota once the deal is done, and 30 overall, including a presence in Michigan, Florida, Georgia and Washington state.