A planned merger that would have created the largest credit union in Manitoba, Canada, has been shot down by members.

The merger, between Access CU and Assiniboine CU, failed by just 25 votes, with 63.2% of Access members voting in favor compared to more than 90% of Assiniboine members voting for the merger, according to an online report from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Darryl Loewen, chair of the board at Access, said the outcome was met by "stunned silence."

"Everyone I talked to last night expected a sufficient 'yes' vote," he told the CBC. While members had raised some questions about jobs and branches, he said there were no serious protests.

It was expected to be "a slam dunk, a foregone conclusion," he said. "And that might be part of what kept the 'yes' vote or more of the 'yes' vote at home."

But Loewen suggested that the NHL playoffs might have also played a role.

"Maybe we were up against the [Winnipeg] Jets last night and that was a factor, but those are guesses." The Jets lost the final game of their playoff series against the Anaheim Ducks last night, who swept the Canadian team four games to zero.

Loewen says Access members can petition for another vote. The credit union serves more than 42,000 members with more than $2 billion (Canadian) in assets.

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