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December 27. 2012 10:17PM

Credit union completes purchase of bank

PETERBOROUGH - The first purchase of a stock-owned bank by a credit union is scheduled to close today, as GFA Credit Union, based in Gardner, Mass., completes the acquisition of Monadnock Community Bank in Peterborough.

The Monadnock Community Bank building at 1 Jaffrey Road will become a Peterborough branch of GFA, which already has a branch in Rindge and seven others in Massachusetts.

The transaction has been in process since a purchase and sales agreement was reached in March, and has been closely monitored in the financial services industry.

Monadnock Community Bank experienced a significant default rate on commercial loans in the recession that started in 2008, and had to be rescued by federal regulators. The closing with GFA will set the stage for the Monadnock bank to repay the balance of a $2 million loan it received through the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

It may also serve as a model for banking regulators who are anxious to find solutions for troubled small banks with only one or two branches that are not attracting potential buyers in the banking industry, but could be attractive to credit unions.

"We know this new partnership will continue to serve our customers, communities and employees with the same care and commitment of MCB," said William M. Pierce Jr., president and CEO of Monadnock Community Bank. "Many of our customers have shared positive comments about joining a credit union. They are excited about the expanded products and services that GFA can offer them."



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