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Wisconsins largest CU merger continues to provide savings
PEWAUKEE, Wis. (12/4/07)--The planned merger between Summit CU and Great Wisconsin CU, both of Madison, Wis., will provide Wisconsin families with increased access to affordable financial services, according to Brett Thompson, president/CEO of the Wisconsin Credit Union League. “No matter the size of the credit union, it’s still a member-owned cooperative,” said Brett Thompson, president/CEO of the Wisconsin Credit Union League. “Like all credit unions, it will continue to return its earnings to its members.” The combined credit union will have more than $1 billion in assets and 20 locations statewide. The Wisconsin Bankers Association has criticized the merger, stating that credit unions have abandoned their original mission. The bankers also have stated that the resulting credit union will be larger than most of the state’s banks, and that credit unions’ tax-exempt status makes them unfair competitors (The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Dec. 2). Wisconsin banks have more than 87% of the market share in deposits, and assets totaling more than $145 billion--which is eight times more than the total asset size of the state’s credit unions combined, the league said. “Credit unions continue to struggle competitively against banks and are looking for ways to more effectively and efficiently serve their members,” Thompson said. “Credit unions focus on serving the needs of their members, not making profits.”
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