Municipal Employees Credit Union of Baltimore Inc. announced Thursday that it had agreed to acquire Advance Bank, another Baltimore-based institution.

A sale price hasn't been determined and will be based on which Advance assets regulators say MECU can acquire, said Dorothea Stierhoff, senior public relations manager with MECU.


MECU, a state-chartered credit union, and Advance Bank, a mutual savings bank, are each owned by their depositors. MECU has about $1.2 billion in assets and nine locations. Advance, with two locations, had nearly $61 million in assets at the end of last year.

The two institutions had been discussing a possible merger for about a year, said Advance CEO John Hamilton, who will be joining MECU on the lending side.

Advance is a small community bank, and the much larger MECU offers the kind of services Advance customers deserve, such as nine branches, an expanded ATM network, a large technology platform and mobile banking, Hamilton said.

With the deal, MECU will have access to new lending products, such as FHA loans, Stierhoff said.

MECU will maintain Advance's locations at 4801 Seton Drive in Baltimore and 6669 Security Blvd. in Baltimore County, Stierhoff said.

Advance employs 20 workers. MECU will retain as many of them as possible once the acquisition closes, Stierhoff said.

The deal must be approved by regulators, but is expected to close later this year.