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Catalyst Membership would reflect CU demographics
DULUTH, Ga. (8/19/11)--If the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) approves the proposed merger of Southwest Bridge Corporate FCU and Georgia Corporate FCU and Southwest Bridge members vote to approve the merger, the resulting Catalyst Corporate FCU will have 869 member institutions, including 850 credit unions--representing more than $87 billion in assets. The NCUA board is scheduled to meet Aug. 29 to consider the proposed merger. On Aug. 30, Southwest Bridge members will participate in an in-person meeting to finalize a vote on the proposed merger. Upon receiving a go-ahead from the regulator and from Southwest members, Catalyst Corporate will begin business on Sept. 6. The composition of the 850 credit unions that would join Catalyst Corporate provides an accurate reflection of the credit union industry nationwide, in terms of asset size and it would serve both large and small credit union, according to Greg Moore, CEO of Georgia Corporate FCU: “When you look at the demographics of credit unions nationwide, particularly the disposition of asset sizes, you find a remarkable parallel with the membership of the future Catalyst Corporate.” A review of Catalyst membership debunks the notion from chatter and press accounts that the new corporate will serve a disproportionate number of smaller-sized credit unions, the corporate said. About 18% of the nation’s 7,442 credit unions have $100 million or more in assets. Just over 15% of Catalyst’s member credit unions are in that asset range. Thirty-seven percent of the nation’s credit unions are smaller than $10 million in assets, while about 33% of Catalyst’s membership fit that category. Half of Catalyst’s member credit union will fall in the asset range of $10 million to $100 million. The percentage of credit unions nationwide in that range is 43%. “The data tell us that the Catalyst membership will be representative of the credit union movement in the U.S.,” Moore said. “As such, Catalyst will continue to meet the needs of credit unions--from small to large--with a full suite of innovative, efficiency-centered products and services,” he added. Roughly 74% of the previous capital shareholders of the two corporates have come on board as capitalizing members of Catalyst Corporate. Collectively, they contributed more than $91 million in capital to launch Catalyst. Mostly serving credit unions in South Central, Southeast and Northwest regions of the country, Catalyst will start with a membership that stretches from coast-to-coast and includes 17 states. “The fact that so many credit unions, after completing months of due diligence, chose to partner with Catalyst Corporate through capitalization speaks volumes about the value we can achieve,” said Dianne Addington, president/CEO of Southwest Bridge Corporate. Moore agrees.“Credit unions have confirmed that they believe in a cooperative model, and that they appreciate the importance of scale when choosing a corporate,” he said. “The Catalyst strategic plan demonstrates that the operating efficiencies presented by this model make a difference that goes beyond better pricing. It means that we won’t have to rely on our balance sheet, and that means less risk.” In Southwest Bridge Corporate’s conversations with its membership, credit unions indicated they wanted to continue to use the services of a corporate, but with reduced exposure to risk. “Catalyst Corporate reflects this low-risk value proposition by minimizing the amount of capital a credit union puts at risk, and by minimizing the risk taken with those assets,” Addington said. She indicated that Catalyst Corporate’s model balance sheet is more conservative than the new regulation 704 requires. “With the help of credit union input over recent months, we are poised to move forward,” Moore said. “The countdown is on.”


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