Bridgewater Credit Union, based in Bridgewater, Mass., will merge into Merrimack Valley Credit Union, based in Lawrence, Mass., pending regulatory approval.

BCU will add $356 million in assets and more than 30,000 members to the $596 million asset MVCU, which serves more than 48,000 members. The merger is expected to be finalized during the summer. Bridgewater CU also brings four branches to MVCU, with location in Bridgewater, Fairhaven, Plymouth and Quincy.

“The credit union and financial industry is becoming increasingly competitive and consolidated,” MVCU said in a press release. “The merger with Bridgewater Credit Union is a proactive step by two financially sound institutions to capitalize on their strengths, and position the credit unions to meet the current and future needs of all members. The merger will also provide synergy and cost-savings in many areas.”

MVCU’s corporate office in Lawrence will be the headquarters for the credit union, but Bridgewater President and CEO John Howard will lead the credit union and current MVCU President and CEO Peter Matthews, Jr. transitions into an advisory role and then retire after the merger.

All employees will be retained in the transition and the combined credit union will be well-capitalized.

With the combined resources, the CU will focus on keeping competitive rates on loans and deposits, preserving low fees, expanding membership growth and developing community programs.

“Combining the best of both organizations means a credit union with expanded products and services, more financial assets, combined technology and personnel skills, and expanded diversification of membership,” the credit union added in the release.

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