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KEENE, N.H. – New England credit unions will soon have another business services CUSO option to choose from. Four credit unions have aligned to provide more than $1.6 million in initial capital to launch Northeast Member Business Services, a business services CUSO. The credit union owners are $476 million Workers CU in Fitchburg, Mass.; $370 million RTN FCU in Waltham, Mass.; $518 million Metropolitan CU in Chelsea, Mass.; and $156 million Unified FCU in Peabody, Mass. Formed in late December 2004, Northeast will sell and service small business and SBA Express loans through branches of its owners and other credit union partners. So far, the CUSO has more than 20 branches committed to its programs and that number is expected to grow significantly over the coming year, said Scott Anderson, CEO of Northeast. “Our objective is to expand further in New England and in New York in 2005 by adding additional owners and partners that are committed to making small business services a core component of their future,” Anderson said. Discussions to form the CUSO began last summer and service will start with the CUSO’s four owners by the end of the quarter. Northeast aims to place heavy emphasis on business loan and deposit sales, with “dedicated salespeople at each partner (being a) key feature of the CUSO’s programs,” said Rick Slater, COO of Northeast. “Success in this business requires a solid credit capability, which we have, but you get business by actively going after it and we do that consistently,” Slater said. Both Anderson and Slater are former bankers with extensive experience in business lending. Anderson had previously worked with Grace Mayo, president/CEO of $468 million Telesis Community CU. Originally established as Telesis Partnership by the Chatsworth, Calif.-based credit union, the CUSO is now known as CU Business Partners, LLC and serves more than 100 credit unions nationwide. Northeast joins MBL Services, LLC, a CUSO formed last year by five New England credit unions and one corporate to bring business lending services to area credit unions. It is jointly-owned by $2.5 billion Digital FCU, Marlborough, Mass.; $712 million Eastern Corporate FCU (EasCorp), Woburn, Mass.; $344 million First Citizens’ FCU, New Bedford, Mass.; $625 million Jeanne D’Arcy CU, Lowell, Mass.; $388 million Northeast CU, Portsmouth, N.H.; and $693 million Rockland FCU, Rockland, Mass. -

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