<p>HALES CORNER, Wis. – Wisconsin Corporate Central CU’s name change to Corporate Central CU is indicative of the nationwide approach the corporate and many others are taking. “We’ve had a proud history as Wisconsin Corporate Central Credit Union. We do have a national field-of-membership and have a certain number of credit union members out of the state,” said Corporate Central CU President/CEO Mark Schroeder. Corporate Central CU has $1.5 billion in assets. Schroeder said the corporate currently is in the midst of working out deals with other corporates to offer some new products nationally. Some corporates, notably Mid-Atlantic with bill pay and CorporateOne with its SimpliCD product, have had tremendous success marketing niche products across state lines through other corporates. Corporate Central CU’s 420 member credit unions unanimously approved the name change. “There’s a little bit of nostalgia for the good old days, for keeping the Wisconsin name, but our members fully understand what is needed today,” said Schroeder. What is needed is growth. Schroeder said growth and survival may go hand and hand in the future for corporates. Mergers in the corporate network are still occurring. Just eight years ago there were 45 corporates – today there are 34 (once the Empire Corporate/CorpStar FCU merger closes). Some corporates are looking across state lines for business because the number of CUs in its state has dropped, whether from mergers, thrift conversions (Wisconsin has had a few), or CUs going out of business. “The number of credit unions isn’t increasing. A lot of mergers are taking some of the member credit unions away. We felt, like some of the other corporates, there’s value to positioning yourself to grow and expand outside of our current market,” said Schroeder, who would not reveal how many of the corporate’s 420 members are from outside of Wisconsin. The new name is non-geographic and a name Schroeder hopes will become recognized nationwide. The corporate elected to maintain its logo, but will change the colors. The logo, with the new colors, was not available at press time. Other corporates have made name changes to try and get away from a single state or regional tag. Last year Alabama Corporate Credit Union changed its name to a more nationwide name, Corporate America CU. The corporate also has plans to market products nationally. Also, South Dakota Corporate FCU changed its name to CorpStar FCU last year, hoping to market a data processing product nationally. CorpStar has since made plans to merge with Empire Corporate FCU, in which Empire will be the surviving corporate. [email protected]</p>

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