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Central 1 CU Central Alberta call off merger
VANCOUVER, B.C., and CALGARY, Alberta (3/12/12)--A merger among Canada's central financial facilities and trade associations for credit unions in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario has been called off.

Central 1 CU, based in Vancouver, B.C., and Credit Union Central Alberta Ltd. announced Thursday the merger discussions, begun in 2011, had ceased.  The discussions explored whether consolidation would achieve efficiencies, offer a stronger liquidity structure, provide greater diversification of funding sources and provide better capacity in finance, payments and trade services.

A combination of the associations would have affected 190 credit unions in the three provinces.

"Our preliminary discussions focused on whether or not a potential merger might enhance our capacity to better meet the needs of credit unions and support their continued expansion in the marketplace," said Alberta Central President/CEO Graham Wetter. "We have not been able to make the progress we had hoped to, and have concluded that we should focus on other priorities, at this time."

Don Rolfe, Central 1's president/CEO, said, "What is most important for both of our organizations is the effective support of our growing and vibrant credit union systems. Although we do not believe our combination is currently achievable, Central 1 and Alberta Central will continue to explore whether opportunities to collaborate exist that will bring greater benefits to credit unions in all three provinces."

Central 1, which has offices in Vancouver, Mississauga and Toronto, represents 45 credit unions in British Columbia and 112 credit unions in Ontario. It serves more than 2.9 million members and holds $15 billion in assets.

The $2 billion asset Alberta Central, headquartered in Calgary, represents 34 credit unions in the province that serve more than 646,000 members.


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