BROCKTON, Mass. — HarborOne CU, New England's second largest credit union, is the latest credit union giant to be considering a conversion to bank, which would be the biggest credit union conversion yet.

The $1.9 billion credit union, headed by the recent past chairman of the Massachusetts CU League Jim Blake, said its board is considering a conversion to a state chartered mutual cooperative bank. The switch from credit union charter, said the board in a notice to members, would broaden the credit union's customer base and give it more flexibility in lending authority and raising capital, while maintaining the mutual ownership of a credit union.

The notice to membership comes as California's $1.5 billion Technology CU is planning to convert to a mutual savings bank and at least one other large credit union, Miami's Power Financial CU, is also exploring the charter change.

In its preliminary notice to members, required under NCUA's rules over conversions to bank, HarborOne explains the ramifications of the charter conversion, including the elimination of its federal tax exemption and the change of federal regulator to FDIC from NCUA.

It says it has no plans to pay the directors.

The HarborOne Board plans to collect comments from members and vote on whether to proceed with the conversion at its March 21 meeting.

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