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Space Coast Eastern Financial Fla. complete merger
MELBOURNE, Fla. (5/4/10)--Two Florida credit unions--Space Coast CU and Eastern Financial Florida CU (EFFCU)--this past weekend completed the largest system conversion in credit union history to ensure that EFFCU members had access to their accounts at Space Coast Monday morning as part of a merger of the two credit unions. EEFCU, which was hard hit by the real estate crisis, was acquired by Space Coast on June 30, 2009, and merged into the Space Coast. Space Coast finished installing its signage on the acquired branches this past weekend. The credit union's branches closed at 4 p.m. Friday and reopened Monday morning. Converting systems meant Space Coast's conversion team to quickly learn how to work together to accomplish the conversion in a short time. "Our industry has never undertaken a conversion of this size, so there was no model to follow," Tim Antonition, executive vice president, told Florida Today (April 30). The credit union had to verify tens of millions of records to ensure the data was converted correctly, he said. For example, each element of an account holder's address--street, city, state and ZIP code--had to be linked to the right fields from the old system to the new system. Eastern Financial's system allowed four addresses to be stored, which had to be reduced to two, Antonition said. Another challenge: fields on the different systems were different lengths on every account and every loan. "Nothing was exactly the same," he told the newspaper. The two credit unions, which had many similarities merged their online banking platforms, with the help of 120 employees, Space Coast CU told the South Florida Business Journal (April 30). Space Coast now has 61 branches and 140 ATMs in 17 counties. Its assets total $3.17 billion, nearly double the assets before the merger, and as of March 30, it had 380,911 members. EFFCU was established in 1937 with Eastern Airlines. Space Coast began in 1951 as Patrick Air Force Base CU serving employees of the space program.


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