Seeking to make better use of its existing technology, New Jersey's Hubco Inc. has inked an agreement with another Garden State institution to provide check and data processing services to both banks.

The joint venture between Mahwah-based Hubco and Branchburg Township- based United National Bancorp would provide image-based check processing, lockbox processing and statement rendering services for both institutions. United Financial Services would also support telephone and computer banking, and allow depositors to pay their bills automatically.

The agreement is a significant move for $950 million-asset United, which is reeling from its expense burden despite having a low amount of nonperforming assets, said Ryan Beck & Co. first vice president Elizabeth A. Summers. The venture would allow the bank to offer new services to its customers inexpensively.

"They definitely have an expense problem, so clearly they haven't been able to invest in technology. But this will get them up to speed relatively quickly and inexpensively," Ms. Summers said.

The deal also benefits $1.6 billion-asset Hubco, which purchased much of the technology and equipment last year, enabling it to integrate four bank acquisitions and a credit card servicing company in the last two years without adding more personnel, Ms. Summers said.

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