NORTH ANDOVER, Mass.-Merrimack Valley Federal Credit Union is celebrating its 50th year in business by converting to a community charter. The credit union’s new charter will encompass all those who live, work, worship or attend school in (and businesses and other legal entities) the Merrimack Valley. The $404 million credit union already serves 43,000 members. “Now that Merrimack Valley FCU can open its doors to all individuals in the Merrimack Valley, we feel confident in our ability to make a difference in the financial futures of the families in our community,” Merrimack Valley President and CEO Peter J. Matthews, Jr., said. “With four branches throughout Massachusetts in North Andover, Haverhill and Methuen and our fifth branch opening in Plaistow, N.H., in early 2006, we are well equipped to meet the demands of our new and existing members.” The credit union also recently purchased a new corporate headquarters in Lawrence, Mass. at the Riverwalk on Merrimack Street. Merrimack Valley boasts a high member satisfaction rating, which averages 94% in an annual survey. In 2005, the institution was honored with the Massachusetts Performance Excellence Award.