Out-of-state mergers seem to be the norm these days, especially in my home state, California. I don't understand why more California credit unions are not viable options for consideration. Not all of us have shrinking capital and loan delinquency issues. And we certainly know the market better than those who have had no experience in this market. It's also surprising that many entering the state have never operated a branch outside of their home state-which makes me wonder if they know what they're in for. As a credit union that operates in six states (and has for many years), we certainly know that it's not an easy thing to do.

States other than California are also following this trend. Most recently Security Service Federal Credit Union from Texas merged Beehive Credit Union in Utah. Security Service Federal Credit Union is a large and healthy credit union, so no doubt a good candidate for any merger. I would be shocked to learn that there weren't viable, attractive options available to Beehive in Utah. Utah has some very successful credit unions-many of them leaders in our industry. I'm sure they too would have been solid options for the continued service of Beehive members. And on the flip side, there should be plenty of merger opportunities in the state of Texas for credit unions already serving members in Texas.

Unfortunately, some out of state credit union mergers have become very bank-like and may be driven by a market share grab. We've witnessed this with the large banks-and it is rarely a good thing for the bank customer. Chase has recently entered the California market in a very aggressive fashion by taking over the failed Washington Mutual. They've done a terrible job of understanding the needs of Californians with their ad campaigns pretending to be from California. It's frankly offensive.

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