CU Community Credit Union has agreed to merge with Southwest Missouri Credit Union after votes by the organizations' boards and memberships.

Following regulatory approval, the merged entity would operate as CU Community Credit Union, with combined assets of $87 million. Approval and integration is expected to be completed in December, according to a news release.

With assets of $76 million, CU Community is the fourth-largest credit union in Springfield. It also claims 6,400 members. Through the merger, CU community would gain $11 million in assets and 3,700 customers.

“Smaller financial institutions like Southwest Missouri Credit Union are having a difficult time flourishing in today’s market due to heavy compliance burdens, shrinking margins, a lack of marketing dollars and increased competition from banks and larger credit unions,” Southwest Missouri President Gene Donley said in the release. “We chose CU Community Credit Union as our partner because it is a thriving financial institution that has made the necessary investments in people, products, service and technology to best serve its members.

“It is among the most profitable credit unions of its size in Missouri, and it is very well capitalized."

Donley is set to become vice president of the merged credit union, and Judy Hadsall would continue to serve as president and CEO of CU Community. Board members from Southwest Missouri also would join the CU Community Board of Directors.

"We will realize increased economies of scale that will help reduce costs, strengthening CU Community’s cost advantage and further enhancing our financial value proposition," Hadsall said in the release. "By uniting resources, we feel that the combined credit union can offer our membership more affordable financing options and access to more products and service than they had access to before.”

Tanja Kern, vice president of marketing for CU Community, said all employees will be keeping their jobs through the merger, and the combined organization likely will hire additional workers. Currently, CU Community has 21 employees and Southwest Missouri has eight, she said.