That followed a rare and well-publicized defeat by UICCU members in 2007 for UICCU to rebrand as Optiva CU.
At the time, speculation was rife that the banking lobby, through its alumni or wealthy donors serving on the University of Iowa board, had pressured the university administration to force UICCU to sever or loosen its ties to the university.
Kelly and other UICCU officials have declined to discuss whether banking pressure figured in the new Hills two-year contract.
In the meantime, UICCU expects to "continue operating profitably and successfully as we have in serving the University of Iowa community" from four other Iowa City branches.
For Best of Iowa, the merger with UICCU underlines what its veteran CEO, Stanley Younce, said is a problem for medium-size credit unions to compete in costly media markets like Cedar Rapids where larger credit unions have their eye on growth.
While the merger with UICCU is a positive step for his credit union, which is also healthy and well-capitalized, in providing added services, it does underscore "what may be a trend elsewhere, where the very smallest maintain a niche, but medium-size credit unions find it far harder to compete," said Younce.
Best of Iowa did entertain offers from other credit unions to merge but chose UICCU as the best fit, said Younce.
The UICCU application for Best of Iowa is currently before the NCUA and state regulators, with a vote by members slated next month, said Disterhoft.