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Achieva Credit Union plans merger with Coast 2 Coast Financial

The merger will need to be approved by state regulators and Coast 2 Coast Financial Credit Union’s members.
Published Nov. 25, 2020

DUNEDIN — Pinellas County-based Achieva Credit Union intends to merge with Tampa’s Coast 2 Coast Financial Credit Union, it announced this week.

“It is a very strong credit union in its field of membership,” said Sharmon Lenth, Hillsborough County market vice president for Achieva.

That membership is primarily in the trucking and distribution industry. Coast 2 Coast has 1,900 members from Georgia down to Naples, half of which are Teamster Union members and United Parcel Service employees. The other half are Hillsborough County residents, residents of neighboring counties and “other employer groups,” according to Achieva.

Lenth described Coast 2 Coast’s membership as particularly loyal, especially among those affiliated with the trucking and distribution industry.

Coast 2 Coast has about $24 million in assets. Achieva currently has upward of $2 billion in assets with 22 branches and 165,000 members.

The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“The strength of Achieva’s operations and the quality of its marketing will help in gaining more members in one of the fastest-growing workforce groups in the U.S.,” Bruce Koehler, interim president and CEO of Coast 2 Coast said in a release.

For the transaction to be finalized, Achieva will need regulatory approval from the Florida Department of Financial Regulation. Then, Coast 2 Coast’s members will need to give their final approval for the merger.

If approved, this will be Achieva’s fourth merger since 2010. Achieva bought Preferred Community Bank, which serves Lee County, in 2018, following its Calusa Bank acquisition in Charlotte County in 2015. It also merged with Sarasota Coastal Credit Union, which serves Charlotte and Sarasota counties, in 2010.

Achieva, Lenth said, does not plan on any layoffs for Coast 2 Coast employees related to the merger.

Currently, Achieva is planning to convert Coast 2 Coast’s east Hillsborough office to an Achieva location by the first quarter of next year and is actively looking for two other branch locations by the end of 2021.

“There’s no stone being left unturned,” Lenth said.

A new initiative Achieva plans to roll out to the Coast 2 Coast locations, as well as some of its own, is a push for Spanish-speaking customers. One of the two new branches Achieva is considering as part of the merger would be in an “epicenter” location of Hillsborough County, which would have bilingual staff members, Lenth said.

“It’s certainly a large initiative for financial institutions overall because it’s a large population,” she said. “It’s been growing exponentially for a number of years.”