FARMERS BRANCH, Texas, OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. and LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — State credit union leagues in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas said they plan to merge, creating a new association to be known as the Cornerstone Credit Union League.

"The consolidation will allow the credit unions in each state to enjoy the services and strengths of the new larger league," the associations said in a joint statement. "The new League will maintain an advocacy-focused office in each state capital in order to continue a strong local presence."

The three state credit union leagues have been exploring greater collaboration for more than a year.

Michael Kloiber, CEO of Tinker Federal Credit Union in Oklahoma and chairman of the Regionalization Task Force. Said that "league consolidations nationwide have one driving force at their core: credit unions must have top-flight offerings from their trade associations. Credit union leaders are looking for real value in their League membership -- value that both shapes the credit union operating environment from a legislative and marketing perspective, and provides a full suite of products and services to its members to leverage our cooperative strength."

The league boards have agreed to a governance structure and transition plan for consideration by their membership, many of whom are finding out today about the potential creation of the Cornerstone league. The associations said the plan is to conduct information sessions across the region to address any questions members may have about the proposed consolidation. A vote on the consolidation will be held at specially called meetings of each state league in the spring.

The Texas/Oklahoma/Arkansas league merger plans follows by a week an announcement that the North Carolina and South Carolina leagues are also considering a consolidation.

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