Suffolk Federal Credit Union is expanding to Nassau County after getting clearance to modify its charter, the Medford-based cooperative announced.
The charter expansion, approved by the National Credit Union Association, will allow SFCU to expand its 10-branch footprint, now confined to Suffolk County, throughout Long Island.
Michele Dean, chief executive and president of SFCU, said the nonprofit plans to use a "methodical, data-driven plan" to add branches.
"Our goal is to be where our members need us," she said.
The 54-year-old credit union has begun working with a branding and advertising agency to develop a comprehensive plan, Dean said.
"There is no immediate need to change the name," she said, but "I'm not ruling it out."
By the end of 2022, the credit union hopes to have identified locations and begun construction.
"A lot of banks are merging and shutting down branches," Dean said. "That would help with availability."
She said that SFCU would take "a hybrid approach," combining branches with digital banking plus a program that allows the member of one credit union use the facilities of any other within the shared-services network.
In addition to Medford: SFCU has branches in: Commack, Sayville, Islandia, Port Jefferson, Miller Place, Eastport, Riverhead, Southampton and West Babylon.
SFCU has more than 62,000 members and assets of about $1.4 billion.
Credit unions are governed by charters granted by the National Credit Union Association or state credit union regulators.
The expanded charter opens SFCU membership to those who live, work, worship, attend school or conduct business in Nassau or Suffolk counties.
The charter approval follows SFCU's No. 2 ranking in Forbes' 2021 list of the top-rated credit unions in each state.
The top-ranked New York State credit union was ESL Federal Credit Union in Rochester. No. 3 was Visions Federal Credit Union in Endicott, followed by fourth place Bethpage Federal Credit Union in Bethpage.
The rankings, unveiled in June, were based on consumer responses to 20 questions about branch services, digital services, trust, satisfaction and other factors.