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LATHAM, N.Y. – Supporters of shared branching hope that the example of the concept working well for credit unions on Long Island will help introduce the concept to credit unions in other parts of New York State. Currently 34 credit unions in New York take part in the New York State Shared Service Center shared branch network, a for-profit CUSO affiliated with the New York State Credit Union League and part of the Georgia based Credit Union Service Center national shared branching network. The NYSSSC maintains 27 shares service center outlets, 21 of which are on Long Island. “Our long-term success on Long Island has created a positive environment that has allowed for increased opportunities to expand that model to upstate districts,” explains NYSSSC Assistant Vice President Marc Inger. Inger explained that the NYSSSC hopes to introduce shared branching into the Rochester, Buffalo, Niagara, and metropolitan New York City areas. He would not say how many credit unions NYSSSC hopes to add, but noted that four or five credit unions from each urban area would have to take part in order for shared branching to take off. Inger said that NYSSSC decided to move forward after getting positive signals from credit union CEOs in the areas they were seeking to open. “July 14 marked an important milestone, when Family First of NY FCU opened the network’s first CU Service Center in Rochester,” said Inger. He noted that Family First CEO Ron Oleston has long been a supporter of the shared branching concept, and that his leadership encouraged interest from Rochester-based credit unions. “Discussions with a group of five Rochester credit unions have been ongoing,” Inger said. “We hope that shared service centers can become part of their solution to serve more members more conveniently.” Inger credited the Long Island experience with both introducing the benefits of shared branching to New York credit union CEOs who might have heard about the concept but had little contact with any institutions that were actually part of shared branching arrangements. The Long Island experience also helped allay fears about what becoming a shared branch might mean to a credit union’s business. “The Long Island experience has just been tremendous,” Inger said. “Now a credit union with maybe only one branch can offer its members access to branches from one end of the Island to the other,” he noted. “That is very appealing for other credit unions in a similar situation,” he noted. [email protected]

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