HarborOne Bid Triggers More Debate: Print Preview
The proposed conversion of the $1.8 billion HarborOne Credit Union to a mutual bank triggered fresh industry debate last week about the impact and efficacy of conversions as the Brockton, Mass., CU formally tendered its resignation from CUNA and the Massachusetts Credit Union League.
Action by the HarborOne board on the planned conversion to a cooperative bank charter could come as early as March 21 at the conclusion of an initial member comment period, according to the CU’s regulatory notice posted Feb. 16 on its website.
On the other hand, there were other industry watchers who found some CUs more worried than ever about where to build sustainable growth in the current climate.
"It’s pretty clear from our discussions with the larger credit unions that more of them are recognizing that the easy growth is over for most, and in order to be prepared for the battle for market share, they need access to capital and rules more like those the banks have,” said Peter Duffy, managing director of Sandler O’Neill, the New York investment banking firm.
HarborOne’s CUNA departure follows by less than a month the resignation of the $1.6 billion Apple FCU of Fairfax, Va., which said it is quitting CUNA while it mulls a possible conversion. Apple also faulted CUNA’s advocacy record in its NCUA corporate dealings as a reason for disaffiliation.
Regarding the conversion process, analysts pointed out it could take as long as a year and require approval by a phalanx of bank and CU regulators. That includes the Comptroller of the Currency that now runs the old Office of Thrift Supervision and the FDIC, representing another hurdle.