BOSTON (7/19/11)--Trends in the consolidation of credit unions--especially smaller credit unions, which are "disappearing"--are the topic of a new report. Credit unions with less than $2 million in assets are disappearing quickly, while those with $2 million to $10 million are not far behind, said Celent, a Boston-based research firm, in its report, "Tipping Scale: Credit Union Consolidation." It also noted that credit unions over $500 million in assets are "vastly outgrowing" any other category relative to their tier. "Looking at the entire credit union spectrum, the number of credit unions in the U.S. is declining rapidly, from 10,316 at the end of 2000 to 7,339 at the end of 2010," said the company. "In the past, credit unions simply required a branch or two, a core banking system, and an ATM," said Bart Narter, senior vice president of Celent's Banking Group and author of the report. "In the past 10 years, Internet banking, bill pay, know your customer and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) compliance are table stakes. Going forward, competition will be driven by demand for mobile banking, consumer and business remote deposit capture, and branch capture." Smaller credit unions don't have the scale to create these offerings and even the larger credit unions are dwarfed by the size of their bank competitors, said the report, which examines the overall credit union count within each tier. It also reviews efficiency ratios and examines the trajectory of shares and deposits for each category over the past 10 years.