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NEW BEDFORD, Mass. — For helping out a struggling underbanked community following the departure of a key business, the $400 million First Citizens’ Federal Credit Union, with branches across southeast Massachusetts and Cape Cod, is winning widespread civic praise this month.

“This was a natural decision for us and important for this part of the city,” declared Charles Simpson Jr. the president/CEO, in describing First Citizens’ move in August to retain an in-store branch in a shuttered Shaw’s Supermarket and then later relocate it nearby to help restore economic well-being.

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