The consolidation trend continues as more and more credit unions, small and large, healthy and troubled, consider merger as a legitimate strategic response to increasing competition for market share.

There was a time when the idea of one credit union openly encroaching upon the field of membership of another credit union was considered if not unthinkable, unacceptable and contrary to the spirit of credit unionism. Those were the days when credit unions, collectively, were referred to as a “movement” and when government, state or federal, would step in whenever it appeared that one credit union’s expansion plan would adversely affect the financial welfare of another credit union. In those days, a traditional, single bond federal charter worried only about providing good service and a sufficient array of products to keep their members from turning to banks. That was worry enough. The concerns over those issues, coupled with effective lobbying, eventually resulted in the ability of credit unions to compete more effectively with local banks by offering their members many of the same products and services offered by banks, but at better rates and in a more personalized atmosphere. In those days, credit unions had little to fear from each other.

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