Member credit unions of the South Carolina Credit Union League and North Carolina Credit UnionLeague approved to merge Thursday, and plan to launch the newCarolinas Credit Union League on Jan. 1.

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Their boards had approved the proposed consolidation in Mayafter forming a committee to study the idea latelast year.

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According to a joint statement released by the leagues Thursday,43 SCCUL members voted in favor of the merger while only two creditunions voted against it, and 52 NCCUL members vote to approve theconsolidation, while two voted against it.

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Member credit unions voted either by mail-in ballot or atspecial meetings held Thursday morning in Raleigh, N.C., andColumbia, S.C.

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“Both leagues are coming into this consolidation from positionsof strength and view this as an opportunity to enhance delivery ofcore services to affiliated credit unions in the years to come,”said Faye Crocker, current SCCUL chair and incoming CCUL boardmember.

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“Creating the CCUL today ensures our league can be a vital partof the success of credit unions in the future,” said Crocker,president/CEO of the $12 million Greater Abbeville FCU inAbbeville, S.C.

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Because of consolidation among small credit unions in SouthCarolina and North Carolina, as in many other states, some leagueshave been seeing gradual declines in revenues. Total revenue forthe SCCUL fell from $1.3 million in 2008 to $963,662 in 2011,according to its IRS Form 990 reports.

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At the NCCUL, total revenues have remained flat. In 2008, totalrevenue was $1.4 million. Though revenue fell slightly $1.3 millionin 2009 and 2010, revenue popped up again to $1.4 million in 2011,according to its IRS Form 990 reports.

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Current NCCUL President John Radebaugh will serve as presidentof the newly merged leagues, which a spokesman said will maintainoffices in both capital cities in the Carolinas.

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Radebaugh, and retiring SCCUL President/CEO Steve Fowler, willlead staff through the transition in the months ahead, theannouncement said.

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“Staff at both leagues will be focused on combining operationsin the months ahead while delivering the services that creditunions value on an ongoing basis,” said NCCUL Chair Maurice Smith,president/CEO of the $1.3 billion Local Government FCU inRaleigh.

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“We're fortunate to have a gifted group of professionals workingtogether to create this new enterprise. We think credit unions willbe thrilled with the results of their work,” Smith said.

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The Carolinas merger is the second among leagues this year.

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Cornerstone Credit Union League – which merged the ArkansasCredit Union League, the Credit Union Association of Oklahoma andTexas Credit Union League in May – opened for business on July 1 asthe largest credit union league in the U.S.

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