PLATTSBURGH - UFirst Federal Credit Union and Northern Corridor Community Federal Credit Union have merged, with the expectation of being able to provide more for their members.
The merger was made official Oct. 1, according to UFirst Federal Credit Union chief executive officer Linda L. Bourgeois and Lorraine A. Bourdeau, CEO of Northern Corridor Community Federal Credit Union.
Under the new arrangement, Northern Corridor Community Federal Credit Union has now become part of UFirst and its locations will now bear the UFirst name. The merger will allow for members of each credit union to now be able to access services through six existing locations in Clinton County, two of which will be available only to Wyeth Pharmaceuticals employees due to their location in Wyeth facilities in Rouses Point and Chazy.
UFirst and Northern Corridor each had their own "community charters," explained Bourgeois, which allowed them to serve members who "live, work, worship or attend school in Clinton County." Now operating under the UFirst charter, those services will continue, she added, but will make services more convenient because of the additional locations.
Through the merger, UFirst will be able to offer all its now approximately 6,400 members access to services such as money market accounts, holiday clubs, share certificates and its full array of lending products and e-commerce services.
"Our members will win because they will have access to those types of services," said Bourdeau.
The merger will also benefit those accessing services from UFirst's Plattsburgh locations by providing the branches with upgraded data processing systems, said Bourgeois.
"And, with that, we have an enhancement to our lending platform that will allow someone, for example, to meet with a loan officer in Mooers or Rouses Point and qualify for their loan," said Bourgeois, "But, if they need to close their loan in Plattsburgh ... through this lending, it's a network where the documents can be sent to the location of their choosing."
"We think it's a win-win situation because we have two strong credit unions and we're serving both ends of Clinton County," said Bourdeau. "I think just the fact that now we cover the full county gives greater access ... I think this will be a wonderful opportunity for all of our members."
Most importantly, said both Bourdeau and Bourgeois, the merger does not mean the reduction or loss of employees.
"The membership in the Northern Tier will still see the same friendly faces. Staffing is not changing," said Bourgeois.
Existing hours of operation for each location will also remain unchanged. For more information, including branch, satellite office and 24-hour-a-day accessible ATM locations, visit the UFirst Web site at www.ufirstfcu.net.
"This has been a very tremendous opportunity for both credit unions," said Bourdeau. "We feel very positive about it and we figure we are really do the best by our members through the merger."