Massachusetts Bank-CU Merger Deal Approved

American Banker | Monday, November 24, 2008

A Massachusetts merger of a bank and a credit union has won regulatory approval. Haverhill Bank said Friday that its deal to absorb Northeast Community Federal Credit Union in Haverhill should close next month. Both the state Division of Banks and the National Credit Union Administration approved the plan last week.

Haverhill Bank is a cooperative, so no money would change hands in the transaction. It would have assets of about $260 million, deposits of $220 million and capital of $30 million after the deal closes.

Haverhill Bank and Northeast Community announced their agreement in August 2007. Though the state's regulations allow such a merger without requiring the credit union to convert to a mutual savings bank first, the deal hit some snags with the NCUA that delayed the closing.

"Operating together as one, the organizations are better equipped to serve the Greater Haverhill community," Thomas R. Faulkner, Haverhill Bank's president, said in a press release. For example, the bank will be able to offer larger loans, he said.

Mr. Faulkner would be the combined entity's chairman and chief executive officer after the deal closes. Peter L. Di Benedetto, Northeast Community's CEO and treasurer, is to become its president and chief operating officer. Despite their different charters, "both organizations have deep roots in the local community and hold similar values," Mr. Di Benedetto said.