Bridgewater Credit Union

Proposed Merrimack Valley Credit Union Merger

Proposed Merger with Merrimack Valley Credit Union

Special Meeting | Merger Q&A | Member Merger Communications

Special Meeting to Vote on the Proposed Merger

On Monday, October 29th, we will host a Special Meeting to vote on the proposed merger with Merrimack Valley Credit Union under a state charter. Below is a Q&A about the merger, including why we feel this is a great opportunity for Bridgewater Credit Union members, why we are voting a second time, and how the Special Meeting will work. We are also hosting a series of Member Town Halls at each branch during the month of October to help answer all of your questions. The full schedule is below. 

If you cannot attend a town hall, our President/CEO John J. Howard, is happy to talk with you via phone or in-person. Just call 800-897-0343 or email questions@bridgewatercu.com to set up an appointment.

Member Town Hall Schedule

Thursday, October 11th, 6:00 p.m., Quincy Branch

Saturday, October 13th, 2:00 p.m., Fairhaven Branch

Monday, October 15th, 6:00 p.m., Bridgewater Branch

Wednesday, October 17th, 6:00 p.m., Plymouth Branch

Saturday, October 20th, 2:00 p.m., Plymouth Branch

Tuesday, October 23rd, 6:00 p.m., Fairhaven Branch

Thursday, October 25th, 6:00 p.m., Quincy Branch

Saturday, October 27th, 2:00 p.m., Bridgewater Branch


Merrimack Valley Credit Union and Bridgewater Credit Union Merger Q&A's

Member Voting 

1. How do I vote for the proposed merger?

Our members will vote in person at the Special Meeting on Monday, October 29, 2018 from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at our Bridgewater Branch, 75 Main Street, Bridgewater, MA. Members can stop by any time during the Special Meeting to cast their votes. In order to vote, you must have opened your membership prior to July 31, 2018 (per statutory requirements). There is only one vote per membership. You will have two choices: vote "for" or "Against" the proposed merger. The Board of Directors and Senior Management of Bridgewater Credit Union recommend that members vote "For" the proposed merger. 

2. Why do I need to vote again? 

In March 2018 an industry-wide court ruling impacted how credit unions can expand their fields of membership under a federal charter, including through mergers. As a result, we need to proceed with the merger under a state charter rather than a federal charter. On September 24, 2018, Merrimack Valley Credit Union members voted in favor of converting to a state charter. This time our members will be voting on the proposed merger with a state charter instead of a federal charter. 

3. How does proceeding under a state charter rather than a federal charter benefit me?

Under federal charter guidelines, Bridgewater Credit Union would have had to remove Barnstable County from our field of membership and we would no longer have MSIC Excess Deposit Insurance. Now under a state charter, we are able to keep Barnstable county in our field of membership and all deposits in excess of $250,000 will be insured by MSIC. 

4. Will Merrimack Valley Credit Union members have to vote?

Yes, their Special Meeting will be held at the same time as Bridgewater Credit Union. 

5. Can I vote by mail?

Unfortunately, state law requires the vote be in person. In order to accommodate as many of our members as possible, we have made the vote from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 

6. When will I find out the results?

As soon as the votes from both Special Meetings are counted, we will announce the results on our website www.BridgewaterCU.com and send an email to our membership. 

Why are we merging?

1. Why is Merrimack Valley Credit Union an ideal partner for Bridgewater Credit Union?

The credit union and financial industries are becoming increasingly competitive and consolidated. This merger allows both credit unions to gain the size and scale to be strongly positioned within the industry and meet the evolving needs of our memberships. Merrimack Valley Credit Union shares a similar culture and set of values with Bridgewater Credit Union. 

2. Who is Merrimack Valley Credit Union?

Merrimack Valley Credit Union has been operating for over 60 years with over $600 million in assets. They have six branches with locations in Lawrence, North Andover, Methuen, and Haverhill, Massachusetts, and Plaistow and Seabrook, New Hampshire. 

3. Is either Credit Union in financial trouble?

No. Both Credit Unions are financially sound. 

4. Since the combined Credit Union will be bigger, will it operate like a bank?

No. We will remain a member-owned locally operated non-profit credit union focused on the needs of our membership and the communities we serve. 

5. What is the expected merger timeline?

We expect the merger to be completed in early 2019 pending regulatory approval. As always, we will keep you updated as more information becomes available. 

How does the merger affect me?

1. How will Bridgewater Credit Union members benefit?

This merger will provide the size and scale to continue to evolve and offer more competitive rates and lower fees. Other benefits include:

  • Resources to meet the evolving technological needs of our membership.
  • Larger branch network with 10 branches and an expanded call center.
  • More products and services available to members.

2. Who will lead the combined Credit Union?

Bridgewater Credit Union's President & CEO, John J. Howard, will become the President & CEO of the merged Credit Union. Merrimack Valley Credit Union's President & CEO, Peter Matthews Jr., will be retiring upon the completion of the merger. 

3. Will there be layoffs?

There will be no staff layoffs as a result of the merger... Period! Not one!

4. Will Bridgewater Credit Union's name change?

The Bridgewater Credit Union name will be used on the branches in the southern region and the Merrimack Valley Credit Union name will be used on the branches in the northern region. 

5. Will any branches be closed?

There will be no branch closures as a result of the merger. 

6. What if I have additional questions?

Reach out to us at questions@bridgewatercu.com or call our Member Support Team at 800-897-0343. Our President & CEO, John J. Howard, is also happy to meet with you in person or via telephone to answer any questions you may have.


 

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