FOREST GROVE, Ore. — Smaller credit unions do have a place in the credit union community, but mergers are sometimes necessary or in the best interest of the membership, Merger Solutions Group President David Bartoo, said.

Small credit unions “obviously do have a place in the industry as long as they are able to be sustainable and they are able to provide the best services to their members…A merger can be a good thing as long as they’re done with the members in mind.” Of the 281 completed mergers last year, 197 (70.1%) were credit unions under $10 million in assets, according to Merger Solutions Group. The completed mergers came to $5.2 billion in assets. However, the group said the total numbers could have reached much higher since NCUA actually approved 313 mergers for $6.7 billion in assets. Six mergers between $30M and $200M approved in 2006 will likely be completed in the first quarter of 2007.

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