WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Corporate credit unions continued to disappear in 2002, but there was nothing magical about it – just plain old business. While many corporate credit union CEOs snicker at the question, "How many corporates will be left in the future?" as if it's offensive, the facts are the number of corporates is dropping fast. This year saw the merging of the $1 billion SunCorp Corporate CU, Arvada, Colo. with the $115 million Nebraska Corporate Central FCU. This merger continued a trend of big corporates scooping up their smaller counterparts. Both SunCorp and Nebraska Corporate Central leaders said the deal would be good for both sides as SunCorp's investment prowess would immediately give Nebraska CUs better rates and more products, while the small Nebraska corporate brought some new products to the table through its CUSOs. For SunCorp it was its second merger in 18 months. It acquired the $650 million Rocky Mountain Corporate, Salt Lake City, in 2001. In another corporate marriage, the $4.5 billion Empire Corporate FCU, Albany, merged with the $118 million CorpStar FCU. Probably the most significant merger of the year in terms of size is the deal between the $4 billion Mid-States Corporate FCU, Naperville, Ill., and the $800 million Minnesota Corporate FCU, Eagan, Minn. Announced in November, this merger is still in the early stages and has yet to receive NCUA or member approval. Minnesota Corporate made the move because of concerns about its ability to compete in the future, and it was attracted by Mid-States' desire to get expanded investment authorities, something it could not do on its own. If this deal goes through there will be 32 corporate credit unions, down from 45 just eight years ago. [email protected]

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