BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (1/12/10)--Kern Central CU, the Bakersfield, Calif. credit union that was purchased Friday by Durham, N.C.-based Self-Help FCU, will be the second largest community development credit union in California and will be known as Community Trust CU. The combined credit union will have more than $150 million in assets and more than 23,000 members. The combination is the result of the National Credit Union Administration's decision to transfer Kern Central's member shares and certain assets to Self-Help in a purchase and assumption agreement (News Now Jan. 11). The decision followed more than two years of extremely challenging economic conditions in the area, said Self-Help FCU in a press release. "Self-Help is a great fit for us," said Kern Central CEO Carl Trejo. "We are extremely pleased to be continuing service from our three locations and our entire staff is eager to focus our attention on growth and expanding member services." Steve Zuckerman, managing director of Self-Help's California operations, noted that "Within this challenging economic environment, the need to preserve access to responsible financial services for underserved communities is critical." The fusion will result in a wider variety of services and products for Kern Central members and will help preserve and expand access to responsible credit for low-income communities in the Central Valley. Self-Help has merged four credit unions in California, expanding its ability to serve the Bay area and the Central Valley. It merged with People's Community Partnership FCU, West Oakland, in the fall of 2008; with Community Trust CU in June of 2009; and with El Futuro CU earlier this month. Kern Central will do business as Community Trust CU, a division of Self-Help FCU, which already includes branches in Porterville, Modesto, Riverbank, East Palo Alto and East San Jose." "We are humbled by the opportunity to carry the legacy of the former United Farm Workers CU, the first functioning credit union for farm workers, founded by the late Cesar Chavez," said Zuckerman. "We are committed to carrying forward that legacy of fair, responsible financial services to farm workers and other residents of the Central Valley."