Another Converted Credit Union Gobbled Up

Credit Union Journal   August 16, 2007

WASHINGTON – The FDIC approved the merger of former credit union Synergy Financial into New York Community Bancorp., the two banks said yesterday–making the once Synergy FCU the 12th credit union to be eliminated after converting to a mutual savings bank. The $170 million deal will earn John Fiore, Synergy's CEO, more than $4 million, and the three directors who engineered the 1998 conversion from a credit union more than $1 million each. Since converting to a bank, Synergy has increased its assets from $180 million to almost $1 billion. New York Community Bancorp has grown to $30 billion in assets by recent acquisitions of nine other local thrifts: Queens County Savings Bank, Roslyn Savings Bank, Richmond County Savings Bank, Roosevelt Savings Bank, CFS Bank, First Savings Bank of New Jersey, Ironbound Bank and Penn Federal Savings Bank. Synergy is the second credit union-convert to be gobbled up so far this year, with BUCS Savings Bank (formerly BUCS FCU) being acquired just four months ago. Synergy has been under pressure to sell since last year when a group of thrift speculators acquired a major stake in the bank's stock and unceremoniously dumped Fiore from the board. Stockholders in the ex-credit union are scheduled to vote on the deal at a Sept. 18 special meeting. Sandler O'Neill & Partners LP, which underwrote Synergy's 2003 initial public offering, advised the ex-credit union on the deal.

© 2007, Used with permission from The Credit Union Journal. All rights reserved.