Merger News

Community First and Mendo Lake are set to merge!

We're combining our BEST services, products, programs, fees and rates. All branches, ATMs and people will remain.

Why a merger?

Community First has had five consecutive years of record growth. But, at just over $200 million in assets, it would take too long to grow organically to achieve the economies of scale we need to offer more branches and ATMs, the easiest-to-use electronic services, and lower-cost mortgages.  

By merging with Mendo Lake, we become a $450 million not-for-profit financial cooperative. We more than double overnight!

Why this merger makes sense.

There is no overlap between Community First and Mendo Lake. We have branches in Sonoma and Napa counties; they have branches in adjoining Mendocino and Lake counties. With many mergers, 1 + 1 = less than two, as overlapping branches and employees are consolidated. With this merger 1+ 1 = 2-plus!. Together, we can do more for you than we could alone.

A perfect fit.

We were both founded by LOCAL teachers. We're the same age, 58 & 56 years, respectively. And we've both built brands that are LOCAL –– the local alternative to the big banks. It’s like looking in the mirror!


The combined cooperative will use the Community First name. Headquarters will be in Santa Rosa. Not a lot changes. Except additional scale, conveniences and stability.


  • Announcement: The two financial cooperatives announced their intent to merge October 4, 2016.
  • Vote: The merger required a vote by the Membership of Community First. That vote took place April 6, 2017. The vote was certified by the CFCU Supervisory Committee the next day –– 97% of Members were in favor of the merger!
  • Legal Merger: June 30. That's the day the California Department of Business Oversight and the NCUA both acknowledge the merger is fully sanctioned and final.
  • Effective Merger: The technologies and website of the two credit unions will be combined July 31.