The board of directors of the $188 million Har-Co Federal Credit Union has asked for members' opinions about whether the CU should convert from a credit union to a mutual bank charter.
The Bel Air Maryland FCU cited several reasons it was contemplating the change, including the ability to issue stock to raise capital.
"For example, as a credit union, Har-Co cannot raise capital to support or expand its operation other than by retaining net earnings," the credit union wrote in an announcement on its website. "As a federal mutual savings bank, however, Har-Co could raise additional capital by changing from the mutual to the stock form and selling stock to members and the public, although a change to stock form is not part of the current Conversion Proposal."
The CU was chartered in 1955 to serve primarily the teachers of Harford County Public Schools. The education connection has continued to this day and anyone with children in Harford County Public Schools is eligible to join.
"The simple truth is, credit unions and banks are the same in that they exist to improve the financial health and well-being of their owners," the credit union wrote at the end of a page that recounted the credit union's history. "Helping you is our first and only consideration. It has been the tradition of our first fifty years. It is the promise to you that we will keep as we head into the next fifty years."
Har-Co members have until March 12 to send their written comments to the board, which intends to take up the charter change question on March 16.