State regulators this afternoon approved the merger of Massachusetts State Employees Credit Union, a troubled one-time $77 million credit union in Boston, into giant Metro Credit Union in adjacent Chelsea, Mass.

The deal gives the fast growing Metro CU, now over $1 billion in assets, another branch in downtown Boston, where it has been expanding its presence in recent years through the mergers of Boston Globe Employees CU and University CU, which gives it access to students and employees at 14 local colleges and universities.

Metro also acquired Secure CU in the Boston suburb of Melrose, last year.

State Employees CU has reported losses for three state years and its assets have declined to $72 million at March 31.

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