The United Communities Credit Union and Libro Financial Group announced Wednesday their intention to merge.

The deal must be member-ratified before it goes forward. By early September, the boards of both credit unions will make separate recommendations to their respective member-owner voting bodies.

"We're all seeking a new path in this part of Ontario," says Libro CEO Steve Bolton. "This announcement means United Communities and Libro have started their journey. We want to invest more here.”

Officials made the announcement in Essex and London Wednesday. The regional office will be in Essex and the new credit union’s head office will be in London.

The new, merged credit union will operate 27 branches, employ 556 staff in 21 communities, and serve over 95,000 member-owners who hold $3 billion in assets under administration.

There will be no job cuts and no retail branches will close as a result of the merger.

"It's a perfect fit," says Jim Lynn, United Communities CEO. "There are no overlaps, meaning this merger can happen with room for everyone."

If approved, the merger will take effect Dec. 31, with full integration to follow in 2014.