Centra merger with Bedford credit union falls through

A planned merger between Columbus-based Centra Credit Union and Bedford-based Hoosier Hills Credit Union is off the table, after the proposal could not get majority approval from the members of the smaller credit union.

According to the Columbus-based Centra, the members of the Hoosier Hills Credit Union did not vote to approve the proposed merger.

The two institutions announced their hopes to merge in January and regulators approved the plans in March. The Board of Directors for both credit unions also unanimously supported the merger. However, credit unions operate democratically and in Indiana large changes, such as a merger, must be approved by votes of both memberships.

The merger would have given the combined credit unions more than $3 billion in assets, with Centra holding just over $2 billion already and Hoosier Hills bringing $900 million to the merger.

Credit union officials say that Hoosier Hills members raised questions and concerns about the proposal, primarily through social media. And there was a great deal of misinformation circulated, they say.

The combined credit unions would have continued under the Centra name and Centra President and CEO, Rick Silvers, will remain in those roles in the combined Credit Union.

Silvers said he was grateful for the trust Centra Members placed in the leadership related to the partnership, with largely positive feedback. He said he was also “grateful for the passion that Hoosier Hills Members displayed during this process.”

“It’s that passion from Members that will keep credit unions thriving. We’re cooperatives, which means we all succeed together,” he said.