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Bethpage Bellco SECU of Md. partnership invests in member value
BETHPAGE, N.Y.; GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo.; and LINTHICUM, Md. (7/20/12)--Three credit unions in New York, Colorado and Maryland plan to open a joint operations center in Baltimore, Md., and Denver, Colo., to maintain financial strength by sharing non branch-related resources.

Bethpage (N.Y.) FCU, Bellco CU, Greenwood Village, Colo.; and SECU, Linthicum, Md., announced their management teams and boards approved the plan to migrate some back-office operations to the new service centers  beginning early next year. 

They emphasized that the move to shared centers does not represent an institutional merger but an efficient sharing of resources.

"All three credit unions will remain independent organizations. We each have established management teams and local boards that will continue to focus on serving our local communities," explained Kirk Kordelski, president/CEO, Bethpage FCU.  "The main difference a shared service center provides is greater flexibility to service the growing needs of our membership. Sharing that cost over three financial institutions creates a larger scale to drive down expenses, therefore improving our value to members."

The transfer of services will be phased in over a two-year period. 

Pat  Pritchard, an experienced CEO, has been hired by the three credit unions to run the shared services centers.  Prichard will report to two boards:  the Operating Board, which is comprises the three credit union CEOs, and the Governance Board, made up of two members from the each credit union's boards.

"Three credit unions can fund jointly what an individual credit union would find unaffordable on its own," explained Doug Ferraro, president/CEO of Bellco CU." For example, with a shared resource pool, we will also be able to better manage spikes in loan demand and member service calls.  The changes our members see will be positive ones."

Rod Staatz, president/CEO of SECU, said, "With the cost savings that we will realize by sharing services, we will be able to offer members better hours, more advanced technology solutions, and better service levels--even during busy periods.  All of these changes will help SECU and the two other credit unions provide the high standard of service members have come to expect."

A fact sheet from Bethpage FCU noted that the reorganization is a major milestone in its decade-long growth strategy. The agreement means it will expand its work force by 13%, creating an estimated 158 Bethpage jobs on Long Island, N.Y. Reassigned employees will fill 91 of those positions, which are of equal or greater responsibility and compensation than their current jobs.

SECU has more than $2.4 billion in assets and serves more than 220,000 members at  its headquarters and 19 branches. Bellco, with more than $2 billion in assets, serves more than 200,000 members with 17 branches.  The $4.8 billion asset Bethpage serves more than 196,000 members with 26 branches.


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