Har-Co Maryland Federal Credit Union in Bel Air has notified members and the National Credit Union Administration that it plans to convert to a mutual savings bank. It would become the first conversion in more than two years.

The $190 million-asset Har-Co, chartered in 1955 to serve school employees in the Baltimore suburbs of Harford County, told members that existing branches would be permitted to serve and attract almost twice as many citizens as they can now as credit union branches.

The credit union's board said it had considered that a conversion to a federal mutual savings bank would end Har-Co's tax-exempt status, but the impact would be offset with greater earnings capacity. Har-Co has stayed in the black the past few years in the face of the recession and growing NCUA charges. It reported a $300,538 net gain in 2010.

Officials at Har-Co were not immediately available for comment.

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