Credit union terminates purchase of Ga. community bank

VyStar Credit Union in Jacksonville, Fla., terminated its bid to acquire Heritage Southeast Bank in Jonesboro, Ga., after failing to win regulatory approval.

Details: The announcement ends what would have been the largest bank acquisition by a tax-exempt credit union. The institutions said they terminated the deal—first announced in March 2021—due to the “lack of a clear path forward to obtaining the regulatory approvals needed for closing.”

Wake Up Campaign: ICBA has led a vocal “Wake Up” campaign against credit union acquisitions of community banks as these deals have become increasingly prevalent in recent years, calling on Congress to hold hearings on this trend and the credit union industry’s tax and regulatory subsidies.

Latest Outreach: In recent op-eds:

  • ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey wrote on Medium that Congress should join the growing number of states fighting back against these acquisitions.

  • ICBA Chairman Brad Bolton wrote in American Banker that this trend expands the segment of the financial services sector exempt from taxation and key regulatory oversight while diminishing access to financial services.

Grassroots: Community bankers can continue urging Congress to hold hearings on the credit union tax exemption using a customizable message to lawmakers on ICBA’s Wake Up page and its Wake Up Messaging Playbook.