Another Georgia credit union buying rival community bank

Another Georgia credit union is buying one of the state’s community banks.

Robins Financial Credit Union in Warner Robins announced Monday that it has agreed to acquire Persons Banking Co. in Forsyth.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The $430 million-asset Persons was formed in 2015 through the merger of four small banks: the Farmers Bank, the Peoples Bank, the Bank of Perry and Spivey State Bank.

“I am enthusiastic about the opportunity we have to partner with Robins Financial in an effort that we believe offers significant opportunities to our clients, communities, employees and shareholders,” Ogden Persons, CEO of Persons Banking, said in a press release. “This partnership is an excellent opportunity to create value for both institutions.”

The deal comes less than a week after Georgia’s Own Credit Union in Atlanta said it had agreed to buy Vinings Bank in Smyrna, Georgia, the first deal announced this year featuring a credit union buying a bank. There were 13 such deals announced in 2021.

The $3.9 billion-asset Robins Financial was established in 1954 and has more than 240,000 members. It is the second-largest credit union in Georgia (the largest is the $9 billion-asset Delta Community Credit Union in Atlanta).

“We have a strategic commitment to bring the benefits of credit union membership to more people, while reinforcing our position as a strong and reliable financial institution. The addition of Persons Banking Company will allow us to expand our footprint and ensure that we are able make a community impact,” Christina O’Brien, the president and CEO of Robins Financial Credit Union, said in the press release

The deal would be the eighth merger between a credit union and a bank in Georgia. Michael Bell, an attorney with Honigman who represented Robins Financial, said another such merger should be announced later this week.

“Georgia was and remains a great spot for deals of this nature. This is a real win for the buyer, the seller and the respective communities,” Bell said. “Nationally, as I have stated before, these deals are accelerating.”

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