The potential merger of North Shore LIJ Health System Federal Credit Union, LIJ Employees Federal Credit Union and Hillside Hospital Federal Credit Union would allow the organizations, each of which are headquartered in Nassau or Queens counties and primarily serve employees of North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System Inc., to more efficiently achieve their goals of offering expanded products, services and a larger branch network, according to D. Hilton Associates Inc., a consulting firm assisting in the merger exploration.
North Shore LIJ Health System FCU has 11,000 members and $56 million in assets. The $23 million LIJ Employees FCU has 4,000 members. Hillside Hospital FCU, with more than $14 million in assets, serves a membership of more than 2,000.
"Each board has expressed an interest in exploring a merger of the three institutions," said Gary Leonard, president and board of directors of North Shore LIJ Health System FCU. "The addition of branches and ATMs, as well as the expanded products and services made possible by such a merger would fulfill goals that might otherwise take years to realize."
Long term, the merger could prove to give the aggregate credit union more staying power, said Lawrence Katz, chairman of LIJ Employees FCU.
"Such a merger could enhance the prospects for long-term viability for each credit union, as well as provide an increase in services, products and accessibility through additional and convenient locations," Katz said.
Yvonne Hathorne, chairman of Hillside Hospital FCU, said a stronger presence throughout Long Island and Staten Island would be just one of the benefits of the merger.
Heartland Warning Off Competitors
Heartland Payment Systems has threatened to sue competing processors seeking to lure its merchant clients away because of the recent breach of its security.
In a message on a Web site devoted to the breach (www.2008breach.com), Heartland CEO Robert Carr said the processor has sent cease and desist letters to rival processors that, he said, have made "untrue and misleading claims" about the possibility that Visa might fine merchants that continue to process with Heartland after Visa removed the card processor from its list of PCI compliant processors.
Visa has said that it would not fine merchants that continue to process with Heartland and that the card processor is working toward being compliant with the data security standard again. "Heartland intends to initiate legal action against [the other processors] if they do not immediately stop making these claims," Carr wrote.
In other Heartland news, another class action lawsuit has been filed, this time on the part of investors in the company who feel the firm did not disclose the breach before they purchased the company's securities.
"The complaint alleges that throughout the class period defendants made false and/or misleading statements, and failed to disclose material adverse facts about the company's business, operations and prospects," alleged the complaint filed in U.S. District Court for New Jersey by New York law firm Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP.