Canadian Mega-Merger Gets RegulatoryClearance

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ONTARIO, Canada - (01/25/05) -- The provincial Financial ServicesCommission of Ontario said Monday it has approved the combinationof Niagara CU and Hepcoe CU, creating the provinces biggest and thecountry's third-biggest credit union with $3.5 billion (Canadian)in assets. The regulatory approval clears the way for a vote bymembers of both institutions, scheduled for next month. The mergermust also be approved by the Ontario Minister of Finance and theFederal Competition Bureau. The new credit union will be known asMeridian CU and will be headquartered in St. Cataharines, while thecorporate office will be located in downtown Toronto.

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