Australia's Two Largest Credit Unions To Merge

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This country's two largest credit unions are merging. Credit Union Australia and Australian National Credit Union will now operate as Credit Union Australia. The new entity will have 75 branches, 400,000 members, 800 staff, (A) $5 billion in assets under management and (A) $550 million in funds under advice. The merger follows local media reports indicating that accounting firm KPMG had predicted the combination of bank competition, a cooling housing market, and rising rates would force credit unions into "shotgun weddings." Australia's CU trade association, Credit Union Services Corporation (CUSCAL), said the merger was the result of intelligent business rather than competition pressure. "This is a particularly exciting day for credit unions, because finally we will have got a credit union with critical mass," said CUSCAL CEO John Gilbert.

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