Number of Mergers During Past Year (271) A Slowdown

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NCUA also approved 29 mergers in December, the most in any one month in more than a year-and-a-half. But the 271 credit union mergers approved last year was down from the 300 combinations in 2001 and the fewest in four years.

Twenty of the mergers approved last month involved one or more small credit unions under $5 million in assets, making a total of 186 small credit unions that disappeared through mergers in 2002.

The biggest combinations approved in December were: Pentagon FCU, Alexandria, Va. ($5 billion) with Fort Shafter FCU, Fort Shafter, Hawaii, ($46 million), one of two Pentagon FCU acquisitions last month. It also merged with Coast Guard Employees FCU, Nanjemoy, Md. ($13 million). GTE FCU, Tampa, Fla., ($1.3 billion) absorbed Chemical & Industrial FCU, Ruskin, Fla. ($15 million), while CommunityAmerica CU, Kansas City ($1.2 billion) merged with WECOE CU, Merriam, Kan. ($10 million).

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