Credit union mergers have slowed so far this year, but industryexperts expect the consolidation pace to pick up over the next fiveyears. According to their calculations, that could reduce today'scredit union count from 6,100 to just 4,000 by 2020.

From January to September 2015, the NCUA approved 178 mergers,which represents a fall from the 193 approved consolidations thattook place from January to September 2014, and the 190consolidations during the first three quarters of 2013. What'smore, the NCUA's recently released approved mergers for October2015 show only 19 consolidations were given the green lightcompared to 28 in October 2014 and 24 in October 2013.

And, in November and early December, approximately 12 creditunions have publicly announced the completion of consolidations ornew merger agreements, including the $19 billion Pentagon FederalCredit Union in Alexandria, Va., which completed threeconsolidations with military cooperatives based in Dallas and FortWorth, Texas and Hawaii. The consolidations will also expandPenFed's international operations.

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