COLUMBIA, S.C. – In an unusual move last week, members of the$344 million Heritage Trust FCU, who have joined the CU through itsColumbia, South Carolina branches, voted to determine whether theirbranches remains with Heritage or transfer to the $1.2 billionSouth Carolina FCU.

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Bill Maher, a senior vice president with Heritage said that thevote had been lopsided in favor of the transfer which both creditunions had agreed to put into place after a management change atHeritage, Maher said.

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“Our new management felt that we could do better by focusing onthe Charleston market, where we have a strong presence already,”Maher explained. “Columbia already has a number of credit unionspresent and just wasn't as good a fit for us,” he said.

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Heritage put the new branches into place after it applied for,and received, an underserved area in Columbia. The area willtransfer along with the branches, deposits, members and loans,Maher said.

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Money will change hands, he added, but only enough to make sureneither CU will take a loss on the transaction, Maher said. “Thetransfer is being structured as a net wash,” he said.

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South Carolina FCU will benefit from picking up another twobranches to supplement is presence in Columbia which it has alreadystarted to establish, Maher explained.

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