Avadian Credit Union acquiring Citizens State Bank of Vernon

Acquisition follows growing national trend

Birmingham-based Avadian Credit Union has announced that it is acquiring Citizens State Bank, based in Vernon. Boards of both organizations have approved the deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Avadian, which grew from the Telco Credit Union founded in 1934, has become a $1.1 billion firm with 17 locations across Alabama.

Citizens State Bank, founded in 1977, serves customers in Vernon, Lamar County, and surrounding areas.

The acquisition will raise Avadian assets to about $1.2 billion and locations from 17 to 19.

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Linda Cencula, president and CEO of Avadian, said, “We are delighted to partner with Citizens State Bank, especially as they share our focus on running a high-quality, low-risk institution with a strong commitment to both the community and to our members and customers. This transaction will also expand our presence in Alabama as we move into the western part of the state.”

Anthony Burnett, president and CEO of Citizens State Bank, added, “We are excited about joining the Avadian family as their culture and commitment to local communities are very similar to our own. This combination is an attractive fit for our bank offering a comprehensive set of products and services to our customers and an expanded geographic diversification. The combined strength of the institutions will enhance our proven ability to serve our community while strengthening the benefits to our customers and employees.”

The transaction is part of a growing trend for credit unions to acquire banks. Financial website The Financial Brand attributes the trend to credit union’s desire to move more into small business lending.  As recently as 2007, the site adds, no credit union purchases of banks were recorded. The figure stayed below 10 through 2017 but hit 21 in 2019 and had already surpassed 10 such transactions by August of this year.

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