PLYMOUTH, Mich. – The merger of two Michigan bank trade associations should not hurt the state’s credit unions, said Michigan Credit Union League president David Adams. The Michigan Bankers Association and the Michigan League of Community Banks announced they would merge April 1. The MBA has about 170 members, and the MLCB which represents thrifts and former savings and loans, has 21 members. A third bank group, the Michigan Association of Community Bankers continues as is. It has 120 member banks, said MACB executive vice president and CEO Felix L. Fliss, largely community banks. Fliss said all of his members also are MBA members; the two groups just offer members different services. Charlotte Birch, a spokesperson for the American Bankers Association, said this sort of merger has occurred in about 20 states in recent years. “As banks and thrifts become more similar, it only makes sense not to have that redundancy,” she said. The move of such a small group into the dominant organization is unlikely to have much impact on credit unions and what affect it does have, should be positive, Adams said. “It’s always better to have fewer industry representatives to deal with on matters,” Adams said. “This strengthens the Michigan Bankers Association’s role and makes their views more credible” Most of his experience with the bank groups has been with the MBA, Adams said, adding that his relations with MBA President Robert Howell have been good. “The merger is probably a positive in every way,” Adams said.

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