HAVERHILL, Mass. (12/19/07)--State regulators are seeking public comment regarding the recent announcement of plans to merge Northeast Community CU and Haverhill Bank under the name Haverhill Bank. The Massachusetts Division of Banks has confirmed it will accept public comment on the matter through Jan. 10, regarding the merger of the $100 million asset credit union and $130 million asset bank. The merger, designed to expand and improve on financial services for area residents, according to a Northeast Community press release, must be approved by members, depositors and regulators. Members of Northeast Community CU approved a proposed merger of the credit union with Haverhill Bank by an overwhelming 77 to 1 at a special meeting Sept. 13, according to Peter DiBenedetto, CEO (News Now Sept. 17). Under state law, the resulting institution will be chartered as a bank and will have the second-largest market share in Haverhill. Haverhill Bank President Thomas R. Faulkner will serve as chairman and chief executive officer, and Di Benedetto will serve as president and chief operating officer. The new bank will have combined assets of about $260 million, deposits of $20 million and capital of $30 million, thereby affording it the ability to offer larger loans than either of the institutions can now provide, Northeast said in a press release. “We’ve continued to grow steadily since 1934 while maintaining a strong capital base,” Di Benedetto said. “When we look at what we wanted to offer our members in the future, it made sense to combine our efforts with an institution that has similar values and also is coming from a position of strength. “We believe the combined institutions will be better able to serve the future financial needs of our customers and the entire Haverhill community,” he concluded.