Better Together: Collaboration and consolidation can spark innovation

Published 9.12.22

Mergers and consolidations are nothing new to the credit union industry. Credit unions continue to consolidate, as do leagues and associations. The number of credit unions has diminished to under 5,000. Where there were once 50 state leagues, now there are 34.  

While the word “consolidation” can spark an uneasy feeling and might seem controversial, a collaboration of two entities can give way to revolutionary innovation, which can lead to transformative change.  
When we collaborate with like-minded organizations, great things can emerge. Two heads are better than one. The Heartland Credit Union Association, in coming together with Cornerstone League, has an opportunity to do amazing things for our member credit unions and the industry.

Merging and consolidating – like we did here at Heartland and that we’ve witnessed at Cornerstone, the Carolinas, League of Southeastern Credit Unions and, most recently, Go West – brings positives. We’ve seen a focused advocacy strategy at work on the federal level and ability to identify efforts on the state level with potential impact on other states, which can aid credit unions in their fight with regulatory burden. In an era when the demand for skilled talent is high, consolidation can create even more substantial employment hubs, attracting high-quality regional team members and deepening talent within the organization.  

As we move forward in exploring a merger with the Cornerstone League, it could make us an even more robust organization working to secure our future success. 

Visit our merger resource page for more information.

Merger resources

Here’s what you can expect moving forward in the next few months: 

Now – through Dec. 2022 

  • Staff at both leagues continue with the due diligence process – as you know, this is a long and detailed process.
  • Both the HCUA board merger committee and the Cornerstone board merger committee are finalizing some details of the merger agreement. A board vote will happen soon, moving us forward in the process.
  • We’re gathering legal documents to prepare for a member vote sometime in Q4 2022.  

Staff of both leagues have started preparing for a combined entity, so we’ll be ready to initiate the integration process if members approve the merger. If a merger is approved, while the goal is to be a combined legal entity by Jan. 1, 2023, some integrations and systems will be combined later in 2023. As we know more, we’ll keep you posted on what you can expect in 2023. 

For those of you attending our Convention & Annual Meeting next week, Cornerstone leadership will be available for your questions. While there is no "formal" presentation, there will be an opportunity to hear more about the merger opportunity immediately following our business meeting. 

If you missed our virtual town hall on Aug. 25, please watch the recording as it provides details about the possible Heartland-Cornerstone merger. View it on our merger resource page, which includes frequently asked questions, links and materials that may be of interest to you. 

Please reach out if you have any questions.