SACRAMENTO, Calif. — State regulators approved the mergers of five more troubled credit unions yesterday, including two by Credit Union of Southern California, the $600 million Brea credit union's third merger of the past few months.

The consolidation of the state's credit union market has accelerated over the past two years due to the heavy toll of the state's recession, with several of the state's largest credit unions disappearing through mergers or failures, with others being reshaped by some of the biggest combinations.

The Department of Financial Institutions said yesterday it approved Credit Union of Southern California's acquisitions of Pomona's $40 million Inland Empire CU and of Placentia's $26 million Family 1 FCU, both of which have reported losses the past few years. Earlier, CU of Southern California acquired North Orange County CU, a healthy $61 million Fullerton credit union.

The DFI also approved the merger of San Jose CU, a one-time $141 million credit union that reported losses six years in a row, into National 1st CU, a $210 million Santa Clara credit union.

The state regulators also approved merges of two troubled federal charters into state credit unions: $25 million Santa Monica City Employees FCU, into Southland CU in Las Alamitos; and $14 million Bay Media FCU in San Francisco into SF Fire CU.

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