VANCOUVER, B.C. (6/30/08)--Credit Union Central of British Columbia and Credit Union Central of Ontario will officially merge on Tuesday. The new association, named Central 1 CU, will have about $8 billion in combined assets and will represent more than 200 credit unions serving 2.7 million members in the two Canadian provinces. It will provide banking, treasury and trade services to the credit unions (Vancouver Sun June 27). Central 1's headquarters will be in Vancouver. It also will keep an office in Mississauga, Ont. Of the 500 people employed, two-thirds will be based in Vancouver. The merger is significant because it is considered a first step in creating a national organization that can support credit unions across Canada, Central 1 CEO Don Rolfe told the Sun. Rolfe said he hopes the credit union systems of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Atlantic Canada would join Central 1 in the future. Those systems are waiting to see how this first merger goes before making commitments to a future merger. Quebec's credit unions or caisses populaires have their own system under the Desjardins Group. Rolfe indicated Central 1 would be willing to work with Quebec's group on some opportunities.