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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — After months in talks, the boards of the Florida and Alabama credit union formally endorsed a merger plan and settled on a proposed name, the League of Southern Credit Unions.In a joint statement, the two leagues said the combination “would give credit unions a bigger voice in the political deliberations in Montgomery, Tallahassee and Washington, D.C., while providing members a wider selection of business services and creating efficiencies of $1 million or more per year.”The statement said the two boards approved the consolidation plan at separate meetings, reflecting a shrinking member base and a desire to achieve economies of scale for both leagues.The veteran CEOs of both organizations, Gary Wolter of Alabama and Guy Hood of Florida had previously announced retirements for next June and July.The consolidation plan will be presented to the membership of both groups in special membership meetings in early March. The combined entity will represent 332 CUs in the two states with assets of $55 billion. At least one neighbor state league, Georgia Credit Union Affiliates, said it had been part of early negotiations but has no plans to linkup at this time. Officials said GCUA would be watching how the consolidation proceeds before deciding whether or if it would join a regional trade group.–[email protected]

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