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Trend CUs name changes slowing
MADISON, Wis. (12/14/12)--U.S. credit union name changes have slowed down this year, according to The Financial Brand, an online industry trade publication focused on branding, marketing, advertising, promotions and branch design in retail banking, including credit unions.

In the past seven years, there have been 234 credit union name changes, said the company, which studied every name change in the credit union industry since 2006. That represents 3.27% of all credit unions, which collectively hold 5.52% of all credit union assets, The Financial Brand said.

This year saw the fewest credit union name changes in the past seven years--24, the company said. The high was 42 in 2009 and 2011.

One trend is that smaller credit unions are changing their names. In 2006, about 79% of all credit unions changing their monikers had assets in excess of $100 million. However, by 2012, that percentage had plunged to 33%, with the other 67% having assets under $100 million, said The Financial Brand.

Other trends: nine percent of new names included the word "First" while 6.8% added the word "Financial."

Although alphanumeric constructions are rare--Plus 4, Med 5, Coast 360 and Latitude 32 being the most unique--48 credit unions nationwide (20.5%) that changed their name since 2006 have included a geographic emphasis or reference in their new name, the company said.    

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