BROCKTON, Mass. (3/23/12)--The board of directors at Brockton, Mass.-based HarborOne CU Wednesday unanimously voted to pursue converting the credit union's charter to a mutual cooperative bank.
The next step is to gain the approval of state and federal regulators , then set a date to have have its 155,000 members vote on the conversion proposal (Banker & Tradesman March 22).
As required under law, HarborOne will prepare an information packet explaining the conversion and send it to the National Credit Union Administration and then to the credit union's membership. Information must be sent to members three times: 90 days, 60 days, and 30 days before the date of the membership vote.
When the $1.9 billion asset HarborOne announced in February it was considering the move, it said that converting to a bank would provide it with more flexibility to expand its customer base; increase lending authority, especially in business lending; and provide access to additional capital such as through sale of stock, which isn't available to credit unions.
The Credit Union National Association and the Massachusetts Credit Union League have stated that they believe a credit union charter is the best option for members of a credit union and that any decision on converting should ultimately be in the members' interest (News Now Feb. 17).