FAIRWINDS Credit Union Announces Acquisition of Citizens Bank of Florida



Agreement makes FAIRWINDS the market leader in Seminole County

ORLANDO, Florida (Aug 19, 2021) – STRONG WINDS Credit Union today announced its intention to acquire Citizens Bank of Florida, a community financial institution with $ 489 million in assets. The deal will result in a 10.25% market share for STRONG WINDS in Seminole County.

Founded in 1946, Citizens Bank of Florida has served the Central Florida community by providing a full range of customer services, including business and personal banking. A state-chartered FDIC-insured bank, Citizens Bank of Florida serves clients through six branches in central Florida.

“As an organization with deep roots in Seminole County, the Citizens Bank of Florida shares STRONG WINDS ‘ values ​​of commitment to the community and putting our members and customers first, ”said STRONG WINDS President and CEO Larry Tobin. “We look forward to welcoming Citizens Bank of Florida clients as new members of STRONG WINDS. We believe they will find great value in our approach to providing exceptional personalized service and our products and programs designed to promote financial freedom and independence. They will have access to 31 additional branches in central Florida and a strong online and mobile banking platform. Plus, Citizens customers will always feel right at home because STRONG WINDS will retain Citizens employees.

The operation will give a major boost to STRONG WINDS ‘ commercial portfolio which currently stands at $ 387 million. After the acquisition, the portfolio will reach over $ 600 million.

STRONG WINDS has an extensive consumer portfolio serving over 200,000 members, while the Citizens Bank of Florida excels in its business portfolio, in addition to serving consumer accounts, ”said Phil Tischer, STRONG WINDS‘Chairman and CEO. “The transaction will strengthen our established and growing commercial banking team and our product offering. “For 75 years, the Citizens Bank of Florida has done a tremendous job of serving members of our community by providing them with honesty and fairness, first articulated by the founder of our bank,” said Rick Lee, President and Chief Executive Officer. the management of the Citizens Bank of Florida. “We are very confident that STRONG WINDS has the best interests of our customers in mind and will provide the exceptional service they deserve. I am also convinced that STRONG WINDS will continue our efforts to support the communities in which we operate.

STRONG WINDS and Citizens Bank of Florida are used to working together in the community. More recently, in 2020, STRONG WINDS and Citizens have teamed up to help develop the Black Venture Fund. The non-profit organization exists to ensure the organizational support and commercial success of minority-owned businesses. While the Fund targets participants in the East Seminole County area, participation has been extended beyond the original target areas. The Fund got off to a good start with the first group of start-ups who completed a 12-week program. STRONG WINDS will continue to support this business.

The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval, is expected to be finalized in December 2021. Based in Orlando, STRONG WINDS is committed to making Central Florida a prosperous and prosperous community for its members and employees. The $ 3.9 Billion Credit Union was named one of Florida’s Best Credit Unions by Forbes, and one of the best places to work Florida Trend, the Orlando Business Journal and Journal of Credit Unions.

STRONG WINDS Credit Union was advised in this transaction by Shutts & Bowen, LLP as legal advisor and Skyway Capital Markets LLC as financial advisor. Citizens Bank of Florida was advised in this transaction by Smith Mackinnon, PA as legal counsel and Hovde Group, LLC as financial advisor.



STRONG WINDS Credit Union, led by President and CEO Larry Tobin, is headquartered in Orlando and is consistently ranked among the region’s top financial institutions and employers. Founded in 1949, the company has 593 employees. TO STRONG WINDS, we want our members to achieve financial freedom. We do this by encouraging our members to save more, eliminate debt, build wealth and live generously, supporting them every step of the way. STRONG WINDSenables members to pursue and achieve their personal and business goals by offering products and services that promote healthy spending and saving habits.

About the Citizens Bank of Florida

The Citizens Bank of Florida is Led by President and CEO Richard H. Lee, and its headquarters are located in Oviedo, Florida. It was founded on July 1, 1946 to fill a need for a community bank in the Oviedo region. The Bank has six branches and $ 489 million in assets. Employees contribute to their community by serving in many different charitable and service organizations and chambers of commerce to support local businesses. “Citizens Bank of Florida has grown with the local community and has been successful for the past 75 years following our founders’ commitment to service-oriented relationship banking,” said Mr. Lee.

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