HarborOne credit union conversion not yet in bank

HarborOne still accepting votes in change to coop

From Enterprise News
By Alex Bloom
March 8, 2013

BROCKTON — Members of Brockton-based HarborOne Credit Union have a few more days to submit ballots to decide whether the financial institution should become a cooperative bank.

HarborOne, the largest state-chartered community credit union in New England, announced intentions to convert into a cooperative bank more than a year ago, but the decision is up to the credit union’s more than 150,000 members.

James Rice, HarborOne’s senior vice president of marketing, said members received ballots in the mail during the second week of February and that they have also been able to vote at HarborOne’s 14 locations.

Members are also invited to cast ballots on Monday at a meeting at The Shaw’s Center, Feinberg Way in Brockton, which will close the voting.

Rice said the conversion will help HarborOne expand beyond the four counties in which it can operate.

The credit union has 14 locations, but cannot offer convenient ATMs to its customers who commute to work in Boston.

“This would give us an opportunity to have branches that are more convenient for our customers,” Rice said.

Rice added the credit union has had to turn away lending business for residents who live in other counties.

He said the conversion will also give HarborOne, which has about $1.9 billion in assets, access to more capital.

Boston University School of Law professor Cornelius Hurley said credit union members should understand that the switch to a cooperative bank puts HarborOne a step closer to a later conversion to a stock-owned commercial bank.

Read the full article at EnterpriseNews.com.