SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Go head-to-head with a neighboring credit union for many of the same members, or merge with that CU since it has the latest electronic and digital services in place and thereby avoid the expense and labor of reinventing those services yourself. That was the dilemma facing Pacific West CU when it opted to merge with nearby Goleta Community Federal Credit Union. The merger, effective Oct. 1, will create South Coast Community FCU, with combined assets of nearly $50 million and some 8,000 members. Members of Pacific West voted overwhelmingly to approve the merger with the community-chartered Goleta institution. “This is one of the best moves we could have made,” said Marcy J. Haque, president and chief executive officer at Santa Barbara-based Pacific West FCU. She said the merger made more sense from a business standpoint than applying for a community charter and competing for many of the same members. Pacific West has been looking into a community charter since 1996. “We basically have the same credit union philosophy,” noted Joan Terbeck, president/CEO of Goleta Community. “That was one reason we thought it was a good mixture. Haque said Goleta Community was the logical merger partner, not only because it already had in place a full range of electronic services, but because of its business philosophy. Terbeck will remain as president and CEO of the new credit union. Haque will serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. pjheller@west.net