Bolton (Ex ICBA Chairman) vs. Bell (CU M&A Attorney) – M&A between Banks & Credit Unions – Get Your Popcorn Ready!

Attorney Michael Bell and Past Chairman of the Independent Community Bankers of America, Brad Bolton, have separately disagreed in the press about their views on credit unions purchasing community banks. Bell has been a CU legal advisor on almost every deal announced since 2008. Bolton has been very critical of these transactions as the ICBA believes they have unfair advantages, namely around their tax exemption. In their very first appearance together, Brad and Mike engage in a congenial debate – which uncovered more agreements than disagreements.

Available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

We cover hot topics related to these unique mergers, including:

  • A deeper dive into the tax exemption “advantage”
  • How states are taking their own stances
  • CRA requirements
  • Cybersecurity risks
  • Publicizing deal costs

Video Index

00:16 | Introduction and Background

03:24 | Driving Factors for Community Bank M&A

06:52 | Debate over Credit Unions as Suitors for Community Banks

12:35 |State Laws Prohibiting Credit Union-Bank Deals

28:48 | The Impact of Tax Exemptions

30:58 | Regulation and Consumer Protection

33:06 | Differences in Cybersecurity Oversight

39:07 | Debating Transparency in Pricing and Acquisitions

50:29 | The Need for a Level Playing Field


Travillian’s Banking and FinTech Practice provides Search and Talent Advisory services to depository institutions across the country. Established in 1998, the firm has built a unique platform that touches every corner of the industry. To learn more, click here, or get in touch below!

Brian Love, Head of Banking & Fintech
(484) 680-6950 |

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