June 15. 2016 9:11PM

Triangle, St. Joe’s hospital employees’ credit unions consider merger

Union Leader Correspondent

NASHUA — A proposed merger between Triangle Credit Union and St. Joseph Hospital Employee’s Credit Union is under consideration.

Members of Triangle Credit Union have been asked to attend a special meeting next week to approve the merger, which will also need support from the National Credit Union Administration.

“Triangle Credit Union’s board of directors and management team recommend that you vote in favor of the proposed merger,” Mark Warner, executive vice president of Triangle Credit Union, wrote in an email to members on Wednesday.

The membership meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. on June 22 at the credit union office, 33 Franklin St.

According to Dick Lavoie, senior vice president of marketing for Triangle Credit Union, the St. Joseph Hospital Employee’s Credit Union approached his organization asking if it would consider allowing the smaller credit union to merge into the larger organization.

“This is a perfect fit for membership,” said Lavoie. “They are looking for more sophisticated services such as online bill paying and banking mortgages.”

SJHE Credit Union is a $6 million financial institution with 1,000 members employed by St. Joseph Hospital. The credit union has under 300 borrowers, according to Lavoie.

Previously, credit unions in New Hampshire were not required to solicit membership for potential mergers. However, new governing legislation now requires that members be notified and included in merger decisions, Lavoie said.

“We are obligated to ask the membership if they are in approval of this merger,” he said, explaining members were notified via email about next week’s meeting.

Small credit unions sometime face challenges with regulatory compliance, especially credit unions with employees that are trying to maintain the original charters of smaller credit union movements, said Lavoie.

“There will be very little change on our side,” he said, noting there will be significant benefits for the SJHE Credit Union.

If members of Triangle Credit Union support the merger next week, the proposal will be reviewed by the National Credit Union Administration, a federal regulatory agency.

Triangle Credit Union currently has 47,000 members with more than $500 million in assets. It has branches in Nashua, Manchester, Amherst and Derry.

This spring, Maurice Simard Jr., president and CEO of the financial institution, announced that Triangle Credit Union is relocating its operations center from Main Street in Nashua to the former Indian Head Plaza at 30 Temple St. in Nashua.

A phone call to the SJHE Credit Union seeking comment was not returned on Wednesday.