2 credit unions to merge; Webster First adds smaller Saugus firm.

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Byline: Martin Luttrell

WORCESTER - Webster First Federal Credit Union announced yesterday that it will merge with Saugus Federal Credit Union of Saugus, a smaller institution that has seen net losses of $2.7 million over the last four quarters.

Approval was given May 18 by the National Credit Union Administration, and the state's Division of Banks also reviewed the merger.

Existing Webster First branches will see no changes in the merger, which will be complete on May 31. The Saugus Federal branches will be a division of Webster First Federal Credit Union, a company spokeswoman said.

With $509 million in assets, 38,000 members and 10 branches, Webster First is currently ranked in the top 2 percent of credit unions in the country in terms of strength and profitability, the company said in a statement.

Saugus Federal has $61 million in assets, 25 employees, 8,000 members and two public branches. The credit union has another three branches located in high schools.

Saugus Federal posted a net loss of $707,942 in the last quarter ended March 31, and net losses totaling $2.7 million over the last four quarters, according to its financial performance report on file with the National Credit Union Administration.

By merging with Saugus, Webster First will gain an immediate growth in assets, and its membership will expand, allowing the Worcester-based institution to provide services to residents of Worcester, Middlesex, Essex and Suffolk Counties, the company said in a press release.

But Saugus Federal has more to gain from the merger, according to John S. Carusone, president of the Bank...

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