The mergers last week of two medium-sized-and healthy-credit unions, one in Wisconsin and one in Colorado, underscored the succession and technology problems impacting that part of the industry.
In the Wisconsin merger, the $1.4 billion Summit Credit Union of Madison, the state's largest, is consolidating with the $68 million State Central CU of Milwaukee, whose veteran president, James Coraggio is planning to retire.
And in Colorado, the $90 million Colorado Credit Union of Littleton completed the merger and computer conversion of the nearby $12 million Brighton FCU, which officials said sought out a partner because of an inability to keep pace on computer technology and consumer services.
Brighton, 40 miles from Littleton, approached Colorado CU a year ago about a merger when it realized the cost of installing a data processing system would be prohibitive, said Dawn Hart, vice president of marketing and human resources at Colorado Credit Union. Brighton, founded in 1954 as a schools employee CU, has 1,800 members.
Colorado officials stressed that both Colorado CU and Brighton made profits in 2009.
In Wisconsin, State Central, with $540,000 in net 2009 earnings, has maintained a 19% capital ratio, while Summit, which made $7.5 million last year, has a 8.9% ratio.