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MANCHESTER, N.H. – St. Mary’s Bank, the oldest credit union in the U.S., has signed a letter of intent to acquire Gateway CU based in Nashua. The intention is for Gateway’s 8,000 members and $25 million in assets to be integrated in to St. Mary’s Bank with Gateway operating under the St. Mary’s name. St. Mary’s has more than $500 million in assets and in excess of 50,000 members. The credit unions say the merger is mutually beneficial. The combined credit union will have seven branches, giving St. Mary’s a more significant presence in Southern New Hampshire, as well as entre to the Nashua market. Gateway members will gain access to a larger menu of products and services that includes free checking with free online bill pay services, instant online approval for mortgages, and access to St. Mary’s Financial Services Inc., St. Mary’s Insurance Services Inc., and St. Mary’s Title Services, LLC. Gateway members will also have access to St. Mary’s small business offerings which include sophisticated online services, a full range of commercial and industrial loans, SBA loans, Business Financial Authority loans, and a Credit union at Work program. Gateway was chartered in 1961 to serve employees of a Nashua-based company. It later expanded its field-of-membership to include businesses and residents of local communities. The credit unions expect the merger to be completed by the end of 2005.

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