ALEXANDRIA, Va.-The credit union merger trend continued through the month of March with 24 credit unions merging with 24 others. According to NCUA's Regional Office Summary of Actions Taken Under Delegated Authority, 13 federal credit unions and 11 state charters merged into 12 federal credit unions and 12 state charters. Of the credit unions merged seven were under $1 million in assets and 13 were between $1 million and $10 million in assets, while four exceeded $10 million in assets. The largest merger occurred between TRW Systems Federal Credit Union ($502 million) and Western Federal Credit Union ($478 million). The smallest credit union merged was St. James Parish Credit Union in Chicago with less than $145,000 in assets. It was merged with the $113 million United Credit Union, also in Chicago. In addition, the federal to state charter conversion trend marched on with one federal credit union converting to a state charter and none the other way around. U.S. Consolidated Federal Credit Union ($60.4 million in assets), located in Denver, converted to a state charter March 20. However, NCUA did charter one new federal credit union on March 28 in Albany, N.Y. FASNY Federal Credit Union was created to serve the members of the Firemen's Association of the State of N.Y. "NCUA is pleased to grant this new charter which will enable thousands of volunteers and firefighters to have access to affordable financial services," NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar stated. "Through the sponsorship with the Firemen's Association of the State of New York, over 12,000 Americans are potential members in an organization which can accomplish great results in the cooperative spirit of credit unions helping people achieve the American Dream of financial self-sufficiency." Credit unions continued to gobble up community charters and underserved areas as well. NCUA's regions approved 13 community charter conversions (61.9%) and deferred eight (38.1%) adding more than 4.2 million potential new members to 13 federal credit unions. In the underserved category, 29 areas were approved (70.7%), one denied (2.4%), and 11 deferred (26.8%) for 20 federal credit unions. The number of new potential members in these underserved areas totals more than 1.8 million for the month of March. River City Federal Credit Union (San Antonio, Texas) added nearly 470,000 new potential members by adopting two underserved areas for one of the largest additions. MidFlorida Credit Union, a $526 million credit union located in Lakeland, Fla., added a total of six underserved areas adding up to 91,539 new potential members. Underserved area additions have risen to 38 through March 31, 2003, and the total number of potential members added thus far in 2003 comes to more than 4.3 million, on track with last year's figures. -


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