BROCKTON, Mass. – Members of HarborOne CU, the Bay State's second largest credit union, are mailing in their vote whether to convert the $2 billion credit union to a mutual savings bank, with the 30-day ballot scheduled to culminate a week from today at a special members' meeting.
The conversion to a bank, which would be the biggest ever, has so far attracted little opposition, with a Facebook page called Save HarborOne gathering sparse participation. A handful of members have told the Credit Union Journal they oppose the conversion but admit the opposition has little momentum.
The conversion is sigificant not only for the size of HarborOne, but because its president, Jim Blake, served recently as chairman of the Massachusetts CU League.
To win approval, a majority of the voting members must OK the charter switch. The credit union says it has 133,000 members eligible to vote.
The 96-year-old credit union, which serves more than two million people in four surrounding counties, told members it wants to convert charters to expand its market and its ability to make both indirect and member business loans and to raise capital.
The notice to members states the board does not have any intention to convert the mutually owned bank to a stock form.
HarborOne reported $8.7 million in net income for 2012 and net worth of 9.4%.
The cost of the conversion are estimated to be $2.4 million, including $750,000 for legal fees, $520,000 for printing and postage, $260,000 for public relations and $235,000 for signage and stationary, among other things.
Representatives of the credit unions have refused all requests for interviews from the Credit Union Journal.