New Mexico's fourth largest credit union by assets, the $763 million Kirtland Federal Credit Union, said Thursday it intends to merge into the $2.3 billion Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union, the state's largest credit union by assets.

Although the proposed merger was approved by both of the credit union's boards of directors, the cooperatives have begun a "more in-depth process to evaluate the possibility of combining the two organization," according to a prepared statement.

Successful consolidations between two large asset credit unions are rare. In October 2015, the 2.1 billion United Federal Credit Union in St. Joseph, Mich. announced it intended to merge into the $4.6 billion Lake Michigan Credit Union in Grand Rapids. But in January 2016, the consolidation was called off and the credit unions did not publicly explain why it was canceled.

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