3 Ways to Maximize the Impact of Your Financial's Merger

by La Macchia Group

Within the banking industry, mergers can be critical to remain competitive. Competition from fintechs and larger institutions can force their smaller competitors into survival mode. Community banks and credit unions find mergers a way to add key locations, increase their assets, and add more member/customers which can result in great efficiencies and opportunities.

When considering their footprint and growth strategy, mergers have long been a key to success for banks and credit unions.  The U.S. saw its peak of federally insured Credit Unions in 1969 at 23,000, and today, there are just 5,100. According to CUToday.Info, more than 30 credit unions have recently filed merger paperwork with the NCUA. 

Similarly, the quantity of banks has reduced in the last few decades because of mergers and acquisitions, starting with a robust 18,165 banks in 1980, to 4,771 banks today. According to FDIC, there have been a total of 157 bank mergers in 2022 YTD.  

If your financial institution is in the process of a merger, here are three critical next steps to ensure a successful transition. 



Perform a thorough review of the existing branch network, especially of the inherited branches, to determine gaps or overlaps in service areas, or the potential for future branching or closures. A thorough analysis of the branch network can help inform the strategic approach and provide critical demographic, sociographic, and geographic data. Further, identifying overlapping areas of service can help the financial institution make plans to optimize the new network and expand into underserved areas.  This analysis should cover more than market area, it should present information about the cost of occupancy, life of facility and other key elements that help define a well-thought out branch strategy.


2. ANALYZE YOUR NEW Customer Base

Understanding the wants, needs, and expectations of your new customer base will be crucial to determining the best strategy to serve them. Many of your new members will be accustomed to engaging with their former financial insitution in a particular way. La Macchia Group can analyze the member base of both organizations and evaluate if your current service delivery is in line with the consumer preferences and expectations in each unique market area.

Customers of the merged credit union can benefit from a wider spectrum of services and product offerings, especially within digital capabilities. In many cases customers can gain access to better savings and loan rates, and an increased convenience due to larger branch networks and more robust online and mobile offerings.



When two brands become one, customer perception is at stake. A comprehensive brand audit can mitigate risks and challenges associated with public-facing shifts to ensure that all combined branch networks meet the physical brand expression in each channel.  This includes a review of the existing logo, name, taglines, colors, and associated brand standards, so the combined brand expression not only speaks to current members, but the newly acquired ones, too. Additionally, a brand perception analysis can assist your financial institution in understanding just how powerful your brand, and that of the merged institution, are in the market.  Last, a brand audit will formalize a roll-out plan, updating signage at inherited buildings, combining or removing website assets and functionality, and all the internal and external facing instances of the former logo and brand. 

A thorough brand audit can prevent a watered-down value proposition and take advantage of the positive distinctions that make your credit union attractive.



As a trusted design/build firm exclusively servicing banks and credit unions, La Macchia Group is a nationally recognized powerhouse in the financial services industry. Our nationwide clients have access to unparalleled market analysis and strategic planning services, informing what the next steps should be in their journey to growth. Our award-winning branding services and unique designs coupled with one-of-a-kind technology integration and content solutions optimize any space, giving it the 360° touch you need.

We believe people deserve better than a cookie-cutter financial experience. At La Macchia Group, we help our clients create engaging and enjoyable financial experiences for their members and staff.