(January 6, 2010 – Porterville, CA) Two Federation-member CDCUs, El Futuro Credit Union and Self-Help Federal Credit Union, have announced a planned merger to strengthen their capacity to provide affordable financial services to working families and the “unbanked” in California.
The partnership is a proactive step by both credit unions to capitalize on their relative strengths, and move confidently into the future. Both El Futuro Credit Union and Self-Help FCU share a common mission to provide affordable quality financial services to underserved communities, and the merger will result in a wider variety of services and products for El Futuro’s members and will help preserve and expand access to responsible credit for low-income communities throughout the Central Valley.
“This is a great opportunity to partner with another financially strong credit union that shares our vision, enabling us to expand services to other underserved areas and to increase our impact in the community,” said Raul Pickett, CEO of El Futuro Credit Union. “Self-Help Federal Credit Union shares our culture, mission and dedication to best serve our members – all the makings of a great partnership and resource for the Valley.”
Under the merger, El Futuro Credit Union will become part of Self-Help FCU, chartered by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) in 2008. El Futuro Credit Union will do business as Community Trust Credit Union (CTCU), a division of Self-Help Federal Credit Union.
“Within this challenging economic environment, the need to preserve access to responsible financial services for underserved communities is critical,” said Steve Zuckerman, Managing Director of Self-Help’s California operations. “El Futuro’s strong management, experience, and tradition of promoting services for working families enhances Self-Help Federal’s ongoing activity in this arena. The newly adopted name of Community Trust also reflects our commitment to the communities we serve. Together, we are building a solid platform from which to support the preservation and enhancement of financial services to low-income communities across California.”
Cliff Rosenthal, CEO of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (Federation), also commented on the proposed merger. “We are pleased that two of our member credit unions have joined forces to serve a community that has suffered enormously from the economic downturn,” he said, “Combining with another CDCU, as El Futuro has done, will preserve its important legacy of service to the underserved and continue to bring hope to a community that needs it.”
Through the efficiencies leveraged by this merger, El Futuro’s members will soon be able to access additional services, including online banking, 24-hour telephone support, real estate loans and small business loans.
To be able to serve more people from those communities has been my longtime dream,” said Pickett, “Now we’re going to be able to do it. This is something El Futuro couldn’t have done by itself.”
The merger is the third for Self-Help Federal Credit Union in California, expanding its ability to serve both the Bay area and the Central Valley. Self-Help FCU merged with People’s Community Credit Union in West Oakland in the fall of 2008, and with Community Trust Credit Union in June of 2009. With this newest merger, Self-Help FCU has grown to nearly $90 million in assets, serving 17,325 members.
About El Futuro Credit Union: El Futuro Credit Union was first established in October of 1965 by immigrant farm workers in East Tulare County. In over forty years of operations, El Futuro Credit Union has become an important institution for East Tulare County, providing financial services for working families and those traditionally underserved by financial institutions. At its peak, the credit union had over $8 million in assets, and 3,500 members and has served thousands of Central Valley residents.
About Self-Help Federal Credit Union: SHFCU is part of the non-profit Center for Community Self-Help family of organizations. This includes North Carolina state-chartered Self-Help Credit Union, Self-Help Ventures Fund and the Center for Responsible Lending. Founded in 1980, Self-Help is a nonprofit community development lender and real estate developer that works with qualified individuals, organizations and communities traditionally underserved by conventional markets. Self-Help has provided over $5.5 billion of financing to over 60,000 low-wealth families, small businesses and nonprofit organizations across the country.