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That precedent-setting deal by Michigan’s United Federal Credit Union to merge an ailing Indiana savings bank gained NCUA approval last week and now seems certain to be the model for more to come, its architect says.

 “Given the aftermath of the recession, we know this is trail blazing and others are looking,” UFCU President/CEO Gary Easterling said after the NCUA last week cleared the deal announced in July for the $1.3 billion St. Joseph, Mich., CU to consolidate the $80 million Griffith Savings Bank in Griffith, Ind.

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