Webster First Merging Troubled Saugus
The $500 million Webster First Federal Credit Union in Massachusetts is acquiring a toehold in metro Boston with a merger of the ailing $60 million Saugus FCU, which has 8,000 members. The transaction allows Webster First to expand into four counties: Worcester, Middlesex, Essex and Suffolk.
A joint press statement of the two CUs said Saugus had “initiated” a bidding process with NCUA, approving the merger deal May 18. It becomes formally effective May 31. Saugus, which lost $950,000 last year and $700,000 in the first quarter, had net worth of 2.5%.
The Saugus merger would give Webster a major entry into eastern Massachusetts, including its two branches plus three high school facilities.
In the statement, Webster First noted that, with 38,000 members and 10 branches, it currently ranks in the top 2% “in terms of strength and profitability.”
“Webster First Federal Credit Union will be a great enhancement for SFCU and we look forward to a successful merger and seamless transition,” said Saugus President/CEO John Smolinsky, calling the consolidation “a step in the right direction.”
Webster First stressed that operations will run “normally during the merger while operations staff transition SFCU to Webster First.” Updates of the merger also can be viewed on the CU website.