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Looking to have an even stronger presence within its hospital-based field of membership, three New York credit unions have entered into talks to discuss a possible merger.The potential merger of North Shore LIJ Health System Federal Credit Union, LIJ Employees Federal Credit Union and Hillside Hospital Federal Credit Union would allow the organizations, each of which are headquartered in Nassau or Queens counties and primarily serve employees of North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System Inc., to more efficiently achieve their goals of offering expanded products, services and a larger branch network, according to D. Hilton Associates Inc., a consulting firm assisting in the merger exploration.North Shore LIJ Health System FCU has 11,000 members and $56 million in assets. The $23 million LIJ Employees FCU has 4,000 members. Hillside Hospital FCU, with more than $14 million in assets, serves a membership of more than 2,000.“Each board has expressed an interest in exploring a merger of the three institutions,” said Gary Leonard, president and board of directors of North Shore LIJ Health System FCU. “The addition of branches and ATMs, as well as the expanded products and services made possible by such a merger would fulfill goals that might otherwise take years to realize.”Long term, the merger could prove to give the aggregate credit union more staying power, said Lawrence Katz, chairman of LIJ Employees FCU.“Such a merger could enhance the prospects for long-term viability for each credit union, as well as provide an increase in services, products and accessibility through additional and convenient locations,” Katz said.Yvonne Hathorne, chairman of Hillside Hospital FCU, said a stronger presence throughout Long Island and Staten Island would be just one of the benefits of the merger.–msamaad@cutimes.com

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Peter Westerman

Credit Union Times

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