One of the largest credit unions In North Texas, Arlington-based Texas Trust, has agreed to merge with Las Colinas’ Qualtrust Credit Union, the Dallas Business Journal has learned.

Texas Trust, which had recently reached $1 billion in assets, will add Qualtrust’s roughly $200 million in assets, and bring their combined members to more than 105,000. The companies made pre-merger filings with their state regulator the Texas Credit Union Department earlier in the month, the agency said.

Talks of the deal began between Texas Trust CEO Jim Minge and Qualtrust President John DiChiaro began as they planned to capture a stretch of the Dallas-Fort Worth market from Midlothian to Flower Mound.

“Qualtrust was never looking necessarily for a merger partner,” DiChiaro said in a recent interview. “It more came out of just talking shop, troubles and challenges. And then we started talking strategically more about what it would look like if we put it together.”

Qualtrust’s members are expected to get more access to small business loans and credit cards that Texas Trust offers. Texas Trust will enter the growing markets of Flower Mound, Bedford, Las Colinas, and San Angelo once the deal is approved, which is expected by the end of the year.

The two executives, like most bankers, have been trying to figure out how to boost profits with the interest they earn from new loans held so low by the Federal Reserve. Mergers and acquisitions of smaller banks and credit unions have become more common as they struggle against bigger competitors.

“I think every financial institution I talk to right now, earnings aren’t what they were 10 years ago,” Minge said. “It’s just harder to make a buck, and that really boils down to scale. And we see this as helping us achieve that extra scale.”

Presented by the Dallas Business Journal – February 15, 2017

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