Bethpage Federal Credit Union on Sunrise Highway in Massapequa. (June...

Bethpage Federal Credit Union on Sunrise Highway in Massapequa. (June 12, 2012) Credit: Daniel Brennan

Bethpage Federal Credit Union said Tuesday it's making a push to attract more business accounts, a market it believes is underserved.

Long Island's largest credit union by assets -- and second in membership after Teachers Federal -- said it had formed three two-person teams of field representatives with experience in commercial lending and cash management, both backed by office personnel, to staff a new division that launches officially Wednesday.

Bethpage said it had hired a total of six new people for the effort.

Bethpage also has begun participating in the U.S. Small Business Administration program, in which the federal government insures a portion of loans made by private institutions.

The announcement came as Bethpage was planning Wednesday morning to release results of an annual survey of small business attitudes. "Findings have shown that although business executives see improvements in their financial health, access to credit remains a problem," Bethpage said in a statement.

Bethpage has more than 5,000 business accounts now, out of 232,000 members, and the business clients have a total of about $230 million in deposits out of $5 billion for all Bethpage customers.

The credit union hopes not only to grow the number of commercial customers, but also provide more services to those it already serves, said Lawrence S. Jones, vice president for commercial lending. "We're looking to continuously grow those relationships, both on the deposit and loan sides," he said.

The Bethpage announcement said the new division will focus on the health care/medical arena, professional service firms and wholesalers and distributors, among others.

Bethpage has 27 branches.

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