HAVERHILL, Mass. — The $99 million Northeast Community CreditUnion has announced plans to merge with the local Haverhill Bank,which the credit union called the oldest mutual or cooperative bankin the Commonwealth.

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The $106 million First Priority Credit Union, headquartered inEast Boston, has already begun the process.

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Under the terms of the proposed merger, which will have to havethe approval of the Massachusetts government and NCUA, HaverhillBank President Thomas R. Faulkner will serve as chairman and chiefexecutive officer and Northeast Community Credit Union Treasurerand CEO Peter L. DiBenedetto will serve as president and chiefoperating officer.

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“In this age of national bank mega-mergers, this union of twolong-standing and respected local mutual institutions provides thegreatest opportunity for improved services and choice for GreaterHaverhill residents,” said Faulkner

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DiBenedetto said, “We've continued to grow steadily since 1934while maintaining a strong capital base. When we looked at what wewanted to be able to offer our members in the future, it made senseto combine our efforts with an institution that has similar valuesand is also coming from a position of strength.”

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