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February 21, 2024

CT’s largest credit union seeks merger deal with Hartford-based CU 

PHOTO | CONTRIBUTED Howard Brady is the CEO of East Hartford-based American Eagle Financial Credit Union.

In the latest in a string of recent merger deals, Connecticut’s largest credit union is seeking to merge with a Hartford-based not-for-profit cooperative.

East Hartford-based American Eagle Financial Credit Union has asked the state Department of Banking for permission to absorb Wellness Federal Credit Union, which was formerly known as Hartford Healthcare Federal Credit Union before it changed its name in 2018. 

The targeted merger date is May 21, 2024, pending state and federal regulatory approvals. Once approved, Wellness Federal’s two branches, members and employees will become part of American Eagle.

American Eagle, established in 1935, is the state’s largest credit union with $2.7 billion in assets, 183,386 members and 14 branches, according to National Credit Union Administration data. It is open to anyone in Hartford, Middlesex, Tolland and New Haven counties in Connecticut, and Hampden County in Massachusetts. 

Wellness, established in 1955, has $30.2 million in assets and 4,721 members, NCUA data shows. It's open to employees, independent contractors or self-employed individuals who work regularly in the healthcare industry throughout the state of Connecticut.    

“Since credit unions are community builders, joining forces with Wellness gives us a presence in Hartford in order to help our new and prospective members build their financial health and reach their goals,” said American Eagle President and CEO Howard Brady.

Merger deals have become common in the state’s credit union industry, which is largely made up of small institutions that have found it increasingly challenging to operate independently given the demands of increased regulation, technology investments and other issues. 

Other recent proposed deals have included the merger of Rocky Hill-based Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union with First Bristol Federal Credit Union. America’s First Network Credit Union in East Hartford is also seeking approval to merge with Northeastern Connecticut Healthcare Credit Union in Putnam.

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