INSIDE: WHY FREE CHECKING IS DRAGGING DOWN BANK PROFITABILITY
THE RESOURCE FOR NEW ENGLAND’S FINANCIAL LEADERS
New England Banks, Local Sports Team Up To
BUILD BRANDS PLUS AUTO LOANS GO FROM ZERO TO SIXTY THE ARGUMENT FOR A PUBLIC BANK IN VERMONT
A PUBL I C ATI O N O F TH E WAR R E N G R O U P
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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Betting on Bankable Sports Christina P. O’Neill Editor, Banking New England
or banks, sports marketing is a higher-profile version of the marketing initiative in general. The guidelines: know your bank’s demographics and what customer bracket you’d like to court; deal judiciously with social media; and choose wisely. The examples given in this issue’s cover story range from large-scale media endorsements to smaller, community-based endeavors, all of which are aimed at drawing customers to a bank to which they can relate. One doesn’t have to follow sports to have read the headlines about high-profile crises involving individual players, or about the awareness of the potential physical costs of particular sports. They contribute to the inherent risks involved in partnering with a team or an individual. But these are – or can be – calculated risks. In today’s banking environment, with lending standards being raised by the Dodd-Frank Act and the Consumer Financial Protection Board, the same protocols which enhance the vetting process for mortgage borrowers can be adapted for business decisions on alliances that bring people together – and provide benefits for local communities through doing so. It’s more complicated than giving away free toasters, but the payoff, according to the banks with whom we spoke, is worth the effort. BNE
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A PUBL ICAT ION OF T HE WA RRE N G ROUP
STOP THE BLEEDING
Free Checking is Dragging Down Bank Profitability
THE NEXT BUBBLE
THE RESOURCE FOR NEW ENGLAND’S FINANCIAL LEADERS
COVER FEATURE 16
NEW ENGLAND BANKS, LOCAL SPORTS TEAM UP TO BUILD BRANDS
Norway Savings Bank
Auto Loans Go from Zero to Sixty
24 THE ARGUMENT FOR A PUBLIC BANK
Vermont Debates Keeping State Funds Local
COMMUNITY GOOD WORKS
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STOP THE BLEEDING
Free Checking is Dragging Down Bank Profitability BY DAN RODERICK Dan Roderick is CEO of Strunk LLC, an information technology consulting firm.
In the early 1990s, free checking was a pretty good idea, but by the early 2000s, free checking was beginning to look like a questionable proposition.
he viability of free checking has been a topic of conversation across the industry for many years. Unfortunately for most community banks, little has been done to effect significant change regarding what has become an outdated strategy for quite some time. Free checking has traditionally been subsidized in large part by overdraft fees, as well as debit card interchange revenue. But overdraft revenue and debit card interchange has dropped dramatically due to regulatory and legislative changes since 2010. Worse yet, the historic decline in interest rates since late 2008 has severely reduced the value of deposits – a problem that has been compounded by lower loan demand. The chart on page 8 shows 6
BANKING NEW ENGLAND
this impact on fee income over the past six years. Since 2007, deposit fee income across the community banking industry (excluding banks larger than $25 billion in assets and specialty banks) as a percentage of average assets has declined from 0.34 percent to 0.26 percent last year – a 24 percent reduction! To put this fall off in terms of dollars, community bank fees on deposit accounts have dropped by more than $1.5 billion over this period. When we look at the impact the decline in fee income has on demand deposit account (DDA) profitability – coupled with the impact caused by low interest rates and rising costs – the picture gets even worse. Since the early 1990s, when “free checking” was first introduced, there has
been a radical transformation in the retail banking business. Twenty years ago, banks weren’t providing costly services like online banking, automated bill pay or mobile banking. While these technologies have provided improved service and convenience to consumers, they have also added substantial cost for bank DDA products. Most institutions today do not charge consumers for any of these add-on solutions, so the cost base for a DDA product has gone up with no corresponding increase in fee income. Rising costs and declining interest rates have had a catastrophic effect on DDA profitability at the average community bank. In the table on page 8, we see that in the early 1990s, Continued on page 8
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STOP THE BLEEDING Centrix Bank Continued from page 6
free checking was a pretty good idea. It allowed financial institutions to acquire customers that might one day become more profitable – and still earn a small profit in the meantime – with the typical DDA earning just over $12 per year, pre-tax. However, by the early 2000s, free checking was beginning to look like a questionable proposition, with the typical DDA losing almost $50 per year due primarily to declining interest rates (funds value) and rising operating expense. Rolling forward to today, free checking has become a truly terrible idea – the typical DDA is now losing almost $200 per year! In addition to historically low interest rates and higher expense, reduced fee income is now taking a toll. What was once marginally profitable or a manageable loss leader is now a serious drain on bank profitability. A loss of $200 per typical DDA account sounds ominous enough, but what implication does that loss have on the profitability distribution of our customer base? It plays a major role in concentrating profitability for community banks to the top 5 percent to 10 percent of the client base. As shown in the table on page 9, the typical community 8
BANKING NEW ENGLAND
Source: FDIC/Boston FHLB/Strunk Research
bank generates 100 percent of the “strategic value” of its customer base via the top 7 percent of the client base – Tier 1. The second customer tier represents 19 percent of the customer base and produces 25 percent of strategic value. Unfortunately, things head downhill from there. The middle tier consists of 25 percent of customers but only drives 10 percent of value, and the bottom two tiers – almost 50 percent of customers – produce negative strategic value! (The strategic value of an account is calculated by multiplying the balance by the projected long term spread on the balance net of projected losses, adding actual fees and subtracting estimated variable costs. Relationship strategic value is the sum of the strategic value of the accounts that are part of that relationship.) So now what? The solution to this problem is fairly simple, but proper execution of that solution is critical to its success. As an industry, we can no longer afford to give away our outstanding services for nothing. It costs the typical community bank just over $320 per year in operating expense to support the average consumer DDA account. For the vast majority of customers, that relatively
expensive service is given away for nothing! At best, there are nominal requirements in place, such as a requirement to have direct deposit or a maintaining a minimum balance, but these measures don’t come close to providing the necessary revenue to offset cost.
Significant, ongoing fees must be generated from the vast majority of DDA customers. At the same time, most community banks will feel the need to maintain some type of free checking account. Free checking has a valid part to play in supporting the financial institution’s mission in its community; however, free checking should be reserved for a relatively small part of a community bank’s audience, such as students or active military. Unfortunately, as an industry, we’ve spent the last 20 years convincing consumers that free checking is a birth right, that no one should pay a fee for their DDA relationship. To execute this solution effectively, a simple customer segmentation strategy will need to be implemented, and a package of services created that drives balance consolidation, increases fees and creates value
for each segment (see chart, page 9). The optimal way to drive strategic value within the deposit base is to increase balances. Unfortunately, for the vast majority of customers, this simply won’t be possible. Optimistically, increased deposit balances may generate a profitable relationship with 20 percent of the customer base. The remaining 80 percent will need a fee strategy – because increased fees will be the only avenue to achieve profitability with these customers. To avoid a complete elimination of free checking, there may be a free e-checking product as a fallback for clients who want only very basic banking services and are not willing to pay a fee. The resulting product structure would look something like: • Premier checking – relationship-based account with meaningful relationship recognition features and no monthly fee. • Value checking – fee-based product enhanced with features from which most everyone can benefit. • E-checking – limited service/functionality, no fee, targeted to a small segment of customers.
Source: Strunk Research
The trick here is to provide enhancements to the value checking product that are in high demand – and that consumers are willing to pay for. These enhancements must
be low cost to the bank, but high value to the consumer. The days of free checking have passed. The industry is facing increasing regulatory pressure that is both increasing
the cost base and decreasing sources of fee income. The interest rate environment and low to modest loan demand has squeezed margins. Increasing capital requirements
will create additional pressure. The time has come to diversify sources of fee income – and the large, and largely unprofitable – DDA base is a great place to start that diversification. BNE
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Norway Savings Bank Long-Range Planning Has its Rewards
BY LINDA GOODSPEED
10 BANKING NEW ENGLAND
succession plan several years in the making culminated Jan. 1, 2014, when Patricia Weigel became president and CEO of Norway Savings Bank, the first top female banking executive at the 148-year-old institution, and the only female bank leader in Maine. Also on Jan. 1, Brian Shibles, senior vice president and CFO, assumed additional responsibilities following the retirement of COO David Wyman, the bank’s longestserving employee, who had been with the bank for 42 years. The promotions have been planned for several years to fill the twin retirements of Wyman and former CEO and chairman Robert Harmon, who both stepped down at the end of 2013. Harmon will remain chairman of the board. Weigel, who joined NSB
in 2001 as Norway’s senior commercial lender, was named president in 2011 in preparation for Harmon’s departure. “At the time, I thought it was really early to be planning for Bob’s retirement,” Weigel said. “I’m happy we did it so early. I feel very prepared.” Weigel takes the helm of one of Maine’s strongest banks. Founded in 1866, Norway Savings Bank has total assets just shy of $1 billion, and 22 branches located in southern and western Maine. As a mutual bank, Norway is owned by its depositors, which Weigel says leads to a “different culture” than at publicly traded banks. “We’re really working for our communities rather than shareholders,” she said. On the other hand, raising capital at a mutual bank is more difficult than at a publicly traded one – a disadvantage
underscored by the recent recession. “The only way we can raise capital is through profitability,” Weigel said. “Many banks have been very challenged during this downturn. We’ve been lucky. We’ve been here almost 150 years. Our capital position is very strong. We came through the downturn just fine.” Norway is a full-service bank with an array of retail and business deposit and loan products. Its $770 million loan portfolio is made up of about 40 to 45 percent commercial loans, with the rest comprised of residential mortgages, home equity loans and other consumer loans. As of Nov. 30, 2013, the nonperforming ratio of its total portfolio was 0.58 percent, down from 0.87 percent at the end of 2012. Continued on page 12
BANK PROFILE Norway Savings Bank Continued from page 10
Some of Norway’s success is due to Maine’s economy – the state came through the recession stronger than some others. Although the bank has “more nonperforming loans than we’d like, when compared to our peers, we never had the asset challenges some had,” Weigel said. “We’ve always underwritten conservatively. We never lost sight of our direction and asset quality.”
Two economies, one state Some of Norway’s success is due to Maine’s economy. The state came through the recession stronger than some others, although there are exceptions right within NSB’s market. “We service southern and western Maine, which are two different economic 12 BANKING NEW ENGLAND
markets,” Weigel said. “The unemployment rate in western Maine is higher than in southern Maine. It makes it challenging.” She said loan demand overall is weak, and “growth is hard to come by.” “Companies are uncertain about the economy. Loan demand is tough. But we’ve done a good job in gathering deposits and growing existing relationships.” She expects loan demand to pick up in 2014 as the economy improves. Over the last 12 months, the bank opened two new branches, and just broke ground on its 23rd. “There is a lot of discussion
in the industry about the role of branches,” Weigel said. “We have a strong Internet presence, but we still believe in bricks and mortar. We believe you still have to be visible in the community.”
Supporting communities and employees
Thanks to its culture of giving back to its local communities, Norway’s visibility extends far beyond bricks and mortar. The bank encourages its employees to volunteer in their communities, and supports those efforts with cash donations to local nonprofits and charities. Over the past 11 years, NSB has donated $3.5 million to support local initiatives focused on children, education, affordable housing, economic development and job creation. Its 270 employees volunteer more than 9,000 hours every year, The bank has twice been voted as one of the “Best Places
to Work” in Maine, and in 2013, the American Bankers Association named Norway one of the best banks anywhere in the country to work for. Norway’s employee wellness program, which features cash awards, gift cards and other incentives for employees who meet with the company’s health coach and achieve measurable goals, such as smoking cessation, weight loss, preventive screenings, etc., helped the bank achieve a gold level ranking from the Wellness Council of America. “Since 2008, we’ve seen our health premiums remain relatively flat, and our medical spending trend has gone down,” said Richelle Wallace, senior vice president for human resources. “Our whole wellness approach not only impacts the bottom line, but with each individual change in behavior, you can visibly see how it impacts someone’s life. If employees are healthier, they have greater life and job satisfaction.” BNE
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THE NEXT BUBBLE
Auto Loans Go from Zero to Sixty CFPB Eyes Putting the Brakes on Indirect Auto Lending
BY LAURA ALIX Laura Alix is a staff writer for The Warren Group, publisher of Banking New England. She may be reached at lalix@ thewarrengroup.com.
ar sales are set to accelerate back to prerecession levels this year, and with them, a new source of revenue for banks and credit unions who do auto financing – that is, of course, if regulators don’t put on the brakes. New car sales are expected to top 16 million this year, a 6 percent increase over the 15.5 million predicted last year and an effective return to prerecession levels, the automotive resource website Edmunds.com predicted. Thank the slowly improving job market and economy, combined with a loosening of credit markets for would-be car buyers, Edmunds.com Chief Economist Lacey Plache said. That’s not just good news for people who’ve put off replacing the old beater in the driveway. It’s also good news for banks and credit unions who do auto financing, both direct and indirect. Auto loans have been on a steady uptick. The FDIC reported last fall that auto loan balances had risen 3.2 percent, or $10.6 billion, during the third quarter last year, and auto loans accounted for nearly 49 percent of total credit union loan growth through October, according to CUNA Mutual Group. But could auto financing be next on the 14 BANKING NEW ENGLAND
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s agenda? All signs point to yes. Most recently, Ally Financial paid $98 million to settle charges that it discriminated against minority borrowers who were charged more than white customers for auto loans from car dealers. The consumer protection agency, along with the Department of Justice, alleged that more than 235,000 minority borrowers paid higher interest rates than white customers because of what it characterized as Ally’s discriminatory pricing system. But Christopher Willis, a partner in Ballard Spahr’s consumer financial services group and chair of the firm’s fair lending task force, said the CFPB signaled its interest in auto financing well before the settlement with Ally Financial. For one thing, he said, the agency has made numerous public statements to its belief that dealer rate participation creates disparate impact. Then, in March 2012, the agency released a bulletin outlining fair lending guidance to financial institutions that provide indirect auto financing. Under the indirect auto financing model, the consumer arranges financing through the dealer, who then turns around and sells that loan to a
“The [CFPB has] publicly announced that they have several investigations and it’s no secret that the CFPB does not like this business model.” — Christopher Willis, partner, consumer financial services group, Ballard Spahr
bank, credit union or other finance company that has provided a rate sheet detailing the minimum interest rates it will accept for a customer with a given credit score buying a given age car. The dealer, however, can increase that interest rate, typically between 2 to 2.5 percent, and the financial institution purchasing that loan will pay the dealer a portion of that interest rate differential.
Semantics are important
While the CFPB has labeled the practice “indirect auto lending,” Willis doesn’t like that term, and instead prefers to say “indirect auto financing.” It may seem like a matter of semantics, but the agency’s choice of words casts financial institutions as creditors under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the law that regulators charged Ally Financial with violating. “I think the most likely thing we’re going to see in 2014 is several more consent orders similar to the ones they just released. They have publicly announced that they have several investigations and it’s no secret that the CFPB does not like this business model,” Willis said. Willis also predicted the market could move toward more of a flat fee or flat rate environment, in which some customers would end up paying more for a car loan and others would end up paying less – in other words, leaving little, if any, room for savvy customers to negotiate an interest rate with their dealer. And of course, there’s the cost of compliance, which could wind up being passed onto the consumer.
While the CFPB has outlined a number of steps to limit fair lending risk in indirect auto financing, the most helpful of those might be a statistical regression analysis of your portfolio, Willis said.
“Unless you do that analysis, not only will [the government] think you’re not doing a good job, you’ll be totally in the dark about what they’ll find if they come in and audit you,” he said. The agency’s legal theory on which it’s based its cases and investigations also leaves some room for doubt, Willis added. “It is very possible to argue that the [ECOA] only prohibits intentional discrimination and not disparate impact,” he said. The agency has taken the opposite view. That echoes a similar debate over the Fair Housing Act. The Supreme Court has previously accepted two previous cases – Magner v. Gallagher and Mt. Holly Garden Citizens in Action v. Township of Mount Holly – that argued the act prohibited only intentional discrimination and not disparate impact, but both cases settled before the court could rule on them. BNE
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New England Banks, Local Sports Team up to
Build Brands FROM MVPS TO BIATHLONS, BANKS ARE GAINING REPUTATIONS AND CUSTOMERS
By Steven Jones-D’Agostino The thrills of victory and the agonies of defeat can be epic for New England banks teaming up with local sports teams. Consider Bank of America’s backing of the Boston Red Sox over the last quarter of a century, during which time the team won three World Series championships, but also finished first to worst in the American League East in the 2012 season. When it comes to banks lending their valuable name and reputation to sports teams, stars or events, what are the branding and economic pros and cons? Berkshire Bank and Salem Five Bank have high-profile, glamorous sponsorships – with all of the attendant risks – while Katahdin Trust Company, a smaller community banks, sponsors a more local, less headline-grabbing event – with the challenge of limited resources. Along the way, Adam Chase, a Washington D.C. attorney whose business includes sports clients, provides sage advice about the legalities of sports sponsorships (see sidebar, page 23).
A BRANDING HAT TRICK FOR BERKSHIRE BANK
Diversification is key. You shouldn’t shoot all of your marketing pucks into one sponsorship net. Berkshire Bank is following that advice, and scoring a branding hat trick in the process. Berkshire is the official bank of Boston Bruins coverage on NESN. New England “is very passionate about its sports,” according to Sean Gray, executive vice president of retail banking for Berkshire. Based in Pittsfield, Mass., the $5.5-billion bank has branch operations in Massachusetts, in Connecticut from Hartford north, and in Vermont from Rutland south, with several loan-production offices on the borders of Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Berkshire’s overall annual marketing budget is “north of $1 million,” according to Gray, with no more than 30 percent of it spent on the Bruins/NESN sponsorship. “There was no industry standard that we looked at when valuing [the sponsorship],” he adds. “However, that 30-percent range was appropriate for us and what we spend and what we look to do [in marketing].” Berkshire also relied on third-party valuations, he notes, to determine that the value of the Bruins/NESN contract “fit very nicely” with the bank’s overall marketing strategy. New Englanders very passionately and consistently attend Bruins games, are quite familiar with that sporting brand, and very consistently view Bruins games on TV and other media outlets, Gray observes. “So [the Bruins and NESN are] a great platform, and the ability to align our brand with the NESN brand as well as the Boston
Bruins [brand] was a perfect fit,” he says. Berkshire looked closely at the fan-base demographics of all of New England’s major sports franchises before teaming up with the Bruins, Gray says. “We feel that the Bruins fan base is growing very strongly throughout New England, catapulted by their winning the Stanley Cup a couple of years back and just having a really strong, consistent team,” he adds. “The hockey fan base is a very educated fan base, and it’s a very affluent fan base. So it gives us the opportunity to really showcase all of our products and services to a fan base that’s a good fit for that.” As anyone who’s attended or watched a pro hockey game knows, the fan base is not just men and boys. Women, girls and families also flock to the battles on the boards. “For young people to get started in hockey, it takes an incredible commitment from that family structure – the equipment is a financial commitment,” Gray says. “So hockey fans and the people who play and watch it are very passionate and very loyal.” That said, Berkshire needs to be careful to not promote the violent elements of pro hockey. “You have to be careful [with] how you promote yourself with elements of the sport that can be violent,” Gray says. “We’re not using this sponsorship as a forum to talk about the pros and cons of physical sports.” As a matter of personal opinion, Gray adds, “Being in the sporting category or affiliating yourself with sports, you do have to understand that there’s a level of violence and a level of risk associated with all of those sports. We’re not making those decisions for any individuals out there. We’re just enjoying the game, the competition, and … the brand that is the Bruins and NESN.”
BRANDING ACROSS THE BOARD
Some banks use their sports-related sponsorships to brand only certain products and services. But Berkshire employs its Bruins/NESN sponsorship to promote its entire brand, plus any specific products and services that make a good, viable fit. In addition, Berkshire uses the sponsorship to showcase the charitable work it does through Berkshire Bank Foundation. Berkshire’s key challenge is to ensure that the Bruins/NESN sponsorship generates enough impressions among its target audience. During 2013, Berkshire generated more than 32 million impressions in the highly valued 25 to 54 age category, according to Gray. Those are people who watched a Bruins game on NESN or visited the Berkshire or NESN websites, he adds, and those impressions are “commiserate” with the bank’s “brand objectives.” Berkshire also uses landing pages to track the performance of its Bruins/NESN sponsorship, with what Gray regards as quite successful results. For example, Berkshire’s landing page on the NESN website promotes the Exciting Rewind sweepstakes that runs through April 6. Berkshire will pay the overall winner’s mortgage, up to $1,000 a month, for up to one year. In exchange for participating, contestants need to supply their email address and other contact information. By analyzing click-through and conversion rates, the bank can also determine the success of the landing page. The third goal scored in Berkshire’s hat trick: Placement of ads on NESN’s cable TV channel, to promote the Bruins/NESN sponsorship. “This package allows us to buy better [time slots] in bulk Continued on next page
Facing page: Dustin Pedroia, the highly popular second baseman for the Boston Red Sox, with Martha Acworth, CMO of Salem Five Bank.
BANKING NEW ENGLAND
Building Brands Continued from page 17
Berkshire Bank is using point-of-purchase displays to promote their partnership with NESN and their contests throughout the season.
with a singular entity,” Gray explains. “It just so happens that the New England Sports Network covers from Connecticut and Hartford up to Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and all of Massachusetts. If you really look at the banks in New England, our geography fit to NESN is probably as good as anyone’s. … We’re very much a New England bank, and to be associated with a network that covers New England sports, was just a really good fit.” Berkshire is seeing 10 to 15 percent of its loan production in Eastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Southern New Hampshire and Southern Maine, according to Gray. “We’re growing in markets that NESN just hits home runs in,” he adds. “That was another driving factor in all of this.” Gray declines to reveal the specific measurables that Berkshire is seeing as a result of its Bruins/NESN partnership. “But I can tell you NESN is delivering impressions commiserate with what we were looking for,” he says. “I can tell you we are very happy with the [NESN] TV buys that we would have made anyway. And I can tell you, from a gross number, we’ve already had over 500 customers contact us through the NESN partnership.”
A DEMOGRAPHIC DOUBLE-PLAY FOR SALEM FIVE
At 5 feet, 9 inches tall and 165 pounds, Dustin Pedroia is one of the smaller players in Major League Baseball. But what he may be perceived to lack in size and strength, he more than makes up for in hustle and passion. Because of that, says Martha Acworth, CMO of Salem Five Bank, Pedroia “appeals to 12-year-old boys and girls, and everyone’s inner 12-year-old – and moms.” She reports having “gotten so many remarks in person, in letters and in emails from moms, thanking me 18 BANKING NEW ENGLAND
for … working with a true role model in New England sports. … [He] inspires loyalty, passion and hard work, which are all part of the Salem Five brand message.” Since 2008, the $3.4-billion Salem Five has partnered with the highly popular second baseman for the Boston Red Sox and fourtime All-Star player, to brand the regional bank. More recently, the relationship resulted in several short animated videos that feature a cartoon version of Pedroia. When the Pedroia partnership began six years ago, Salem Five was well on its current path of aggressive geographic expansion, opening retail branches in new markets. Just prior to Salem Five hiring Acworth as CMO, in 2008, the bank had started the practice of showcasing a Red Sox player at the grand opening of each new branch. Coco Crisp (now with the Oakland As) and Jonathan Papelbon (now with the Philadelphia Phillies) were among the Sox attractions for those openings. Acworth, who’s worked in banking for the past 15 years, also has a background in sports marketing, having previously worked for the U.S. Olympic Committee. When she joined Salem Five, the bank was about to open a branch in Sudbury. Bank officials wanted to line up another Sox player for that opening, but she had a different idea. “I said, ‘No, no, no, no, no!’” Acworth recalls with laughter. “‘We’ve got to [partner] with one guy and do a multi-event agreement, in which we also negotiate the rights to use his likeness and image throughout the year.’” Acworth proposed relying on only one Sox player to position with Salem Five’s brand, and establishing a long-term relationship with that player. The resulting pact with Pedroia is an exclusive one, meaning he can’t enter into a similar agreement with any other bank – unless he’s
traded, or gets into some sort of trouble, and Salem Five decides to let him out of the contract. Acworth sees Pedroia as an all-star fit for Salem Five. “There are many things about Dustin Pedroia that are in alignment with our brand values,” she says. Salem Five spends “seven figures” annually on all of its marketing efforts, she reports, with “10 to 15 percent” of that amount devoted to the two campaigns – overall bank branding and children’s financial literacy and savings – that feature Pedroia. Initially, Salem Five used Pedroia as the spokesman for Gold Star Saver, the bank’s then-new financial-literacy and -responsibility program for children of any age. The program, which the bank developed around Pedroia, did so well in its first year that it won a financial-literacy award from the American Banking Association. That year was also award-winning for Pedroia the ballplayer, as he was named Most Valuable Player in the American League. Salem Five’s goals for the overall Pedroia partnership, according to Acworth, are to maintain and improve “the overall favorability and perceptions” of the bank’s brand. For the financial-literacy effort, she says, the goals are “to attract new family households in the target demographic to Salem Five and to deepen the relationships with existing [family household] clients by having their children have accounts with us as well. It broadens and deepens the relationship and the loyalty.” When Salem Five began partnering with Pedroia five years ago, Acworth recalls, its goal was “to lower the average age of our depositors a bit. What a robust children’s program will do is, help attract young
families, which indeed has been a big contributor to lowering the average age of our depositors to the point where  was the first year where the average depositor at Salem Five was Gen X – just barely.” Generation X consists of people born between the early 1960s and the early ’80s. Five years ago, the average age of a Salem Five depositor was 53. Now, it’s 48. But Salem Five is not just lowering the average age of depositors. It’s also increasing the total number of them. “We’re certainly in growth mode,” Acworth says. As a result, Salem Five is quite satisfied with the results of the Pedroia partnership, Acworth says. “We’re happy with what Dustin has done in terms of helping us on the brand level,” she adds. “The favorability and perceptions of the Salem Five brand have been enhanced considerably with his association and … with the children’s [literacy] program.” Gold Star Saver, she reports, has attracted “thousands and thousands of children in the program that are really great savers. It’s remarkable – their average balance in their savings accounts is much higher than we expected it would be.” She declines to say how much higher it is. For Salem Five, the reason for a pro-sports sponsorship is simple. “Boston is a huge sports town, and people are passionate about our sports teams,” Acworth says, adding with a laugh, “To engender passion in banking, is a challenge.” The critical factor, she adds, is that the sports event, team or player – in this case, Pedroia – matches well with the brand, values and message that Salem Five wants to convey.
Continued on next page
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Building Brands Continued from page 19
Katadin Trust Company sponsors the 2014 IBU Youth-Junior Biathlon World Championship.
Sports – especially baseball – also tend to be a family oriented activity, Acworth observes. “It’s something you do as a family and parents pass on to their children, in terms of the spirit of it,” she says, “and so it certainly aligns [well] with our target [market] in terms of family demographics.”
SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL FOR KATAHDIN TRUST
Big and regional are not necessarily better when it comes to bank sponsorships of sporting events. Sometimes, small and local are the best bets. Consider the $625-million Katahdin Trust Company, based in Houlton, Maine. In 2006, the community bank partnered with Nordic Heritage Sports Club in Presque Isle, Maine, to hold the International Biathlon Union‘s Junior Biathlon Competition at Nordic Heritage Sports Center. The event was the first big skiing competition held in Northern Maine, according to Vicky Smith, Katahdin’s senior vice president of marketing and communications. With a population of only 10,000, Presque Isle is in the center of, and the largest city in, economically distressed and sparsely populated Aroostook County – which itself has only 70,000 people on more than 6,800 square miles of land. The IBU competition “was new to everybody” in Northern Maine, Smith says. “No one knew exactly what the economic impact would be from it, or what the results would be.” Still, she notes, the organizing committee felt that a biathlon – an event that’s highly popular in
20 BANKING NEW ENGLAND
Europe – was going to be good for the Aroostook County region. “With all of the skiers that are coming in from different countries, [the organizers felt the event] would get a lot of television exposure [particularly] in Europe, because the [skiers] would be coming in with crews to film it.” The organizers realized that if they did a good job of hosting the first competition, Smith says, they would stand a good chance of attracting another IBU contest to the region. The event had “a huge economic impact” on the Aroostook County region, she adds, although she does not have details of that impact. It also “got wonderful coverage in Europe and it got, of course, a lot of local coverage,” Smith says. “It kind of put us on the map” as part of the international biathlon scene. In addition, she notes, the event was staged by around 400 local volunteers and no paid local staff. “That’s one of the reasons the IBU looks at our area and they’re very impressed with what we’re able to do … at this magnitude.” The strategy worked well. In 2010, Presque Isle landed another major competition: The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s CrossCountry Junior Olympics, with Katahdin again as one of the sponsors. The regional economic impact of the event, according to Smith, was about $5 million. “Our area, like a lot of areas in the country, is quite a distressed area,” she says. “So, to have an area that is challenged economically have an event like this be hosted in our area, was really, really good.” The success of the 2010 competition paved the way for IBU’s 2011 World Cup Biathlon Winter Games to be held in Presque Isle. “That was really big,” Smith says, noting that hosting duties spilled over to 10th Mountain Center, in Fort Kent, about 60 miles north of Presque Isle. The 2011 event, she reports, had an estimated $10-million economic impact on the region. “We’ve been offered another World Continued on next page
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Building Brands Continued from page 20
Cup, for 2016” she adds. “So that is a big feather in the caps of the folks that work on these events.” Which brings us to the IBU 2014 Youth/Junior World Championships Biathlon, to be held Feb. 26 through March 7 in Presque Isle. There are only two gold Sponsors – the highest level – and Katahdin is one of them. About 350 skiers and support personnel will descend on the Presque Isle area, supported again by volunteers. Once again, both Aroostook County and Katahdin Trust will brightly shine in the international spotlight. The bank does not sponsor these events in order to generate direct sales of specific products and services, according to Smith. Instead, she says “it’s more [a matter of ] our branding and name recognition.” Measuring that, she says, is “a tough one. How do you measure community involvement and brand recognition? It’s your gut telling you whether it’s working for you, or not.” For overall marketing, Katahdin budgets “south of $1 million” a year, according to Smith, with “4 to 7 percent” of that amount spent on sponsoring the international ski competitions such as the IBU Biathlon. Four years ago, the bank started to expand its footprint outside the Aroostook County region, opening a total of three branches since then in the Bangor area, in Penobscot County. And in 2013, Katahdin expanded its commercial loan office in Scarborough, in Cumberland County, with a full-service location. As the bank continues to expand geographically, she says, “we will definitely look at other sports events or teams that might make sense for us to do some partnering with.”
Another key benefit of Katahdin’s current sports sponsorships, Smith observes, is the pride they instill in the bank’s employees. “[T] hey like to see their employer involved in their communities and supporting their area,” she says. “We highly encourage our employees to be part of [the events] and to volunteer time at the events.” However, drawing attention to itself and generating staff pride, Smith maintains, were not the primary reasons why Katahdin chose to sponsor the international ski competitions. “We did it really for what we felt would be the economic impact on our area, and for the community involvement and community pride. We really consider it [as] part of our continued investment in our market area. … That’s what local community banks do – they give back to their communities – and this is the way that we do it. … We’re all in it together. If our area does better, we do better.” There’s also the possibility that officials of large foreign and domestic companies who visit the Aroostook County region for events such as the IBU competitions, may be looking to expand operations in the U.S. And, they may see the economically hurting region as a good place to locate those facilities. Smith agrees. “You get to meet a lot of people from all over the world,” she says, adding, “It showcases our area to the world in a really nice, positive way.” BNE Steven Jones-D’Agostino is a strategic partner of Susan Wagner PR + Best Rate of Climb.
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ACTIVATING SPORTS SPONSORSHIP RIGHTS: MORE THAN IT USED TO BE
When Adam Chase began practicing sports law 15 years ago, sponsors of sports events were usually happy to pay event promoters a lump sum in exchange for a certain amount of branding, and then retreat to the background. Now, he says, those sponsors tend to “activate” – or exercise – their full sponsorship rights. Chase is a Washington D.C. attorney with Cooley LLP, whose business includes sports clients. Most of those clients are seeking to develop sponsorship opportunities for their brands. He also works with the Atlanta Braves, as well as promoters who sell sponsorship opportunities. Chase regards a sports sponsorship as a good fit for consumer-facing brands because most consumers like sports. A major, national sports event is “the one must-see, real-time television [programming] these days,” he says. “There’s almost nothing else [like it, except] maybe an awards show [such as] the Academy Awards. … There’s the [brand] exposure to both the people in the stadium and also the people watching on TV.” Sports events, he adds, “are one of the last communal activities in an age of increasing social media and fragmentation.” Stadium sky boxes, Chase says, are another key branding opportunity. “If you’re Verizon and you have naming rights here in D.C. for the Verizon Center, you’d better believe you’ve got … [a] nice a box, to take big and potential clients, best employees and executives.” One of Chase’s clients is Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia. Events DC promotes the annual AT&T Nation’s Football Classic, of which Wells Fargo Advisors is the official banking partner. Well Fargo, Chase observes, wants to be involved with the entire event, especially one such as the Nation’s Football Classic that is “very community-focused. There is a lot of things going on around the game, other than the game [itself ]. There’s educational seminars and job fairs … They want to be part of all of that.” Perhaps the most important conversation a bank looking to sponsor a sports event needs to have is with itself. “What does the financial institution want out of it?” Chase says. “Is it a big, NFL-type sponsorship, such as [being] the credit card of the NFL? Or is it a really local, community type of sponsorship? That will affect what assets of the game or the team that the financial institution will want [to sponsor], and what the [sponsorship will do] for them.” On top of that, he says, banks want “exposure and positive goodwill around the game and around their brand that’s associated with the game.” These days, according to Chase, the NFL is “the gold standard” of sports-event sponsorships. “Everybody wants to be associated with the NFL,” he adds. “But maybe a local bank in a small town in New England is happy being a good partner of the local Triple A baseball team.”
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STATE COVEROF STORY BANKING
Momentum Building for State Bank in Vermont BY LINDA GOODSPEED
fter simmering for several years, momentum for creating the nation’s second state bank seems to be growing in Vermont. “It is absolutely a hot topic,” said Anthony Pollina, a state senator from Washington County, who plans to bring up the issue of creating a state bank before the 2014 Vermont legislature. “Tax revenues are going down,” Pollina continued. “A state bank is a potentially very good economic tool. Instead of depositing our tax dollars in large banks for them to invest wherever they choose, and make a profit for their shareholders using our money, I think a public bank would allow us to redirect our public dollars into our own priorities.” Keeping state funds in a state bank is an old argument, but one that seems to be gaining traction in some states since the economic downturn and banking crisis. Supporters of public or state banks point to North Dakota, which has the nation’s only public bank. According to published reports, the Bank of North Dakota has some $5 billion in assets and contributed about $340 million in earnings to state coffers in the 12 years through mid-2009. With more and more states facing declining revenues and budget shortfalls, some point to a public bank like the Bank of North Dakota as the answer. But how well that model might translate to other states is debatable. North Dakota, for example, is one of the largest oil-producing states in the country, with a strong energy-based economy. Vermont, on the other hand, has one of the nation’s smallest banking industries (just 19 institutions), and is one of the least populous states in the country, with a service economy rooted in agriculture and tourism. It is also one of the most liberal states in the country.
‘10 percent for Vermonters’
Pollina, a progressive Democrat, last year introduced into the Vermont legislature a bill to study the issue of creating a state bank. That bill made its way through three committees before dying on the Senate floor. Pollina said he may resurrect that bill this year, and at the same time, plans to introduce a new bill that will create a “pilot” state bank. The pilot bill, called “10 Percent for Vermonters,” would turn the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA), which already makes loans to Vermont businesses, into a state bank able to accept deposits and borrow money. The bill would also redirect 10 percent of Vermont’s average daily balance, about $35 million, from TD Bank, the 24 BANKING NEW ENGLAND
state’s bank of record, to the new state bank entity. “This $35 million would create credit for lending for renewables, municipal infrastructure, state college loans, etc.,” said Susan Hatch Davis, a progressive Democrat, who will introduce the “10 Percent” bill on the House side. Pollina will introduce a similar bill in the state Senate. “Lending would be done through local Vermont banks, which is what VEDA does now,” Davis continued. “The VEDA board and staff would stay the same. An advisory committee would be created to advise VEDA on banking issues. It creates a state bank that is relatively simple and safe in a noncontroversial way.”
‘A lot of unmet needs’
Vermont’s banking industry disagrees. Vermont already has four state agencies that essentially operate as a state-owned bank. They include VEDA; the Vermont Housing Finance Agency, which supports affordable housing development; the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, which helps Vermont students pay for college; and the Vermont Municipal Bond Bank, which provides loans for city and town capital projects. “If the conversation is only about consolidating the agencies we already have to see if there are any savings or efficiencies [part of last year’s unsuccessful study bill], we would not have a problem with that,” said Chris D’Elia, president of the Vermont Bankers Association. “But if the proposal is to start offering banking services, we view that as competition to the private banking industry.” “If we had a public bank, Vermonters would still do business with TD Bank. Not the state bank,” Pollina stressed. “All we are doing is taking public money out of a private commercial bank, moving it to a public bank, and investing those funds in Vermont priorities. We have a lot of unmet needs in Vermont.”
‘Money comes in, money goes out’
Currently, TD Bank is Vermont’s bank of record, a contract that is put out to bid every three years. D’Elia said Vermont pays TD Bank about $750,000 to handle the state’s accounts. He said the state’s average daily balance from tax receipts and other fees is about $350 million, an amount that can fluctuate widely. Among the services TD Bank provides the state are overdraft protection when the state’s receipts drop below its liabilities, and lockbox services. D’Elia noted that state deposits are used to pay state bills – “Money comes in, and money goes out.”
“If you take those short term funds the state needs to have access to, and use them to fund longterm loans, the numbers don’t work,” he said. He also noted that many municipalities already have relationships with local banks. “If you aggregate those deposits at the state level and put them in a state bank, it pulls them out of local banks. That state bank is in direct competition with local banks.” He raised other concerns as well, and said the banking association is monitoring the issue very carefully. “I’m not hearing that this is a big legislative priority,” D’Elia said. “But there are more legislators talking about the concept this year than other years. The noise this year is louder than I’ve ever heard in the past.” There is also a grassroots effort underway to gather signatures in many Vermont towns to put the issue of a state bank on local town meeting ballots. In 2013, Maine lawmakers also faced a public bank proposal, but failed to advance the measure. “Policymakers are not great at taking ideas and making them happen,” Pollina conceded. Whether they can do that in Vermont this year remains to be seen. BNE
“All we are doing is taking public money out of a private commercial bank, moving it to a public bank, and investing those funds in Vermont priorities. We have a lot of unmet needs in Vermont.” — Anthony Pollina, state senator, Washington County
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Career achievers in banks across New England are constantly on the move, with their professional journeys reflecting a combination of mobility and longstanding service. We acknowledge them, and welcome readers to submit news of their own staff.
Featured Banks • Androscoggin Bank • Berkshire Bank • Cape Cod Five Cent Savings Bank • East Boston Savings Bank
Appointments and Elections Berkshire Bank
Pittsfield, Mass.based Berkshire Bank has appointed Scott Pasquale to the new role of vice president and commercial relationship manager. In this position, Pasquale will be responsible for the Scott Pasquale Pioneer Valley and will be based out of Springfield. Pasquale is on the board of the Western Mass. Chapter of the National Tooling & Machining Association as treasurer. He also is an active participant in fundraising for the Boy Scouts of America.
Boston-based Eastern Bank has appointed Anthony “Tony” George as a vice president and commercial lender in its business banking division. He works out of the Norwell, Mass., office and is responsible for serving small business owners on the South Shore. Prior to joining Eastern Bank, George was a commercial lender at Santander Bank. Prior to that, he worked as a commercial lender at Citizens Bank.
• Eastern Bank • Katahdin Trust Company • Washington Trust
Maine-based Androscoggin Bank has promoted Kelly Dorsey to the position of assistant vice president and a business and government services officer. She joined the bank in 2012 Kelly Dorsey and was the retail manager of the Androscoggin Bank locations on Maine Street and Cooks Corner in Brunswick. She will remain in Brunswick and focus on deposit options for business and government entities in the area.
Berkshire Bank has promoted Michael D. Carroll to senior vice president and chief credit officer. He joined Berkshire in May 2009 as senior vice president and commercial regional leader Michael D. Carroll of New York. He will now be responsible for the company’s credit underwriting and approval processes. Carroll previously served as senior vice president of middle market lending at KeyBank. He also was employed by KeyCorp and served as a vice president of its structured finance division, as well as the credit risk management department. 26 BANKING NEW ENGLAND
Katahdin Trust Company
Katahdin Trust Company, based in Houlton, Maine, has promoted Jean Noyes to vice president and information security officer, and Andrew Putnam to vice president and Jean Noyes chief information officer. Noyes has worked for Katahdin Trust Company since 1979, having served in a variety of positions including teller, head teller, assistant operations supervisor and operation supervisor. In her new position, she will Andrew Putnam be responsible for the management of various aspects of the bank’s information security program including disaster recovery, business continuity and vendor management. Putnam joined Katahdin Trust Company in 1999 as an assistant in the marketing department and later assumed additional responsibilities assisting in the commercial services area. In his new role he will be responsible for the direct oversight of the management information systems department and the ongoing technology development and support for bank staff and customers.
Sugar River Bank
Sugar River Bank, headquartered in Newport, N.H., has promoted two key staff members to the positions of vice president and assistant vice president. Susan Ordway was promoted to assistant vice president of deposit operations. Ordway, who joined the bank in 2008, recently graduated from the Susan Ordway New England School for Financial Studies in Massachusetts. She has served as deposit operations officer for the past five years. She has more than 20 years of bank operations experience, specializing in electronic banking. The bank also promoted Scott McGuire to vice president of investment services. He has been with the bank for nearly 27 years and is partnered with NEXT Financial. He recently earned his Certified Wealth Strategist designation.
New Arrivals Cape Cod Five Cent Savings Bank
Amy Levine joined Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank in January as assistant director of community and corporate relations. She coordinates bank meetings and events for employees, corporators and customers, as well as the bank’s community events. She also provides administrative coordination for the bank’s financial education outreach, volunteerism, and philanthropy.
East Boston Savings Bank
Lindsay Venza has joined East Boston Savings Bank as assistant vice president and branch officer of a recently opened branch office in Somerville, Mass. She formerly worked at Cambridge Savings Bank and Salem Five Bank as assistant vice president, banking center manager and a business development Lindsay Venza specialist. She oversees branch operations and the development of consumer and business relationships for the Somerville branch. BNE
Washington Trust has promoted the following employees: Jonathan A. Roderick is now vice president and regional manager at Washington Trust’s Northern Region branches and an additional branch expected to open early this year. He also assists branch managers in sales management, in-branch banking, partnership relationships and community involvement. Alison M. Medeiros is now assistant vice president and branch manager of the bank’s North Kingstown branch. She joined Washington Trust in 2002 as a head teller. Saleh S. Yassine is now assistant vice president and branch manager of the bank’s East Providence branch. Yassine “We used Value Checking to implement a new previously worked at Citizens Bank, most recently as a business banking client fee-based checking strategy. Our employees manager. and customers love it – and believe it’s the best Rhonda M. Duckworth is now vice president and regional manager and is service we’ve provided in the past ten years.” responsible for managing and supervising Chief Retail Oﬃcer, Georgia community bank several branch locations. She formerly served as vice president and branch manager at Citizens Bank and Fleet Bank. Christopher J. Sheehan is now vice president and manager of the business banking group. He joined the bank in Don’t believe it? Review 1987 in the consumer credit department, our case studies. transferred to the retail division as an assistant branch manager of the Charlestown branch and was appointed a regional manager in 2000. Jennifer L. DiBari has joined Washington Trust’s subsidiary, Washington Trust Mortgage Company LLC. She most recently served as a senior mortgage originator at Capstone strunklp.com/valuechecking | 800.728.3116 Mortgage Company Inc.
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COMMUNITYGOOD GOODWORKS WORKS COMMUNITY
Financial institutions large and small have been making a difference in their communities for years. In this space, we acknowledge them, and welcome readers to submit news of their own banks’ efforts and endeavors.
Featured Banks • Centrix Bank • Citizens Bank • Commerce Bank • Kennebunk Savings Bank • Meredith Village Savings Bank • MutualOne Bank • South Shore Bank • TD Bank
Centrix Bank President and CEO Joseph B. Reilly, and Lucy T. Gobin, senior executive vice president and COO, present Shannon Sullivan of The Santa Fund with a $2,500 check on behalf of the bank’s board of directors. The Santa Fund was established in 1959 by the Manchester Union Leader to raise money for The Salvation Army, enabling the organization to continue to provide toys, warm clothing, and meals to families throughout Manchester, N.H. In addition, The Santa Fund supports the efforts of Kids’ Café, summer camps, heating assistance and other critical programs throughout the year.
The Citizens Bank Foundation awarded a $5,000 grant to the Vermont Community Loan Fund’s Microlending Technical Assistance Program. The Vermont Community Loan Fund (VCLF) provides equitable access to capital for the development of affordable housing, community facilities and organizations, as well as local businesses. Between 2010 and 2013, VCLF’s microlending program closed 35 microloans totaling $990,101, creating or preserving jobs for 193 Vermonters. During that period, 46 percent of microloan borrowers operated
businesses in town centers, and 58 percent had women in positions of senior management or business ownership. Citizens Bank Foundation made the grant as part of Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities, a bank program designed to contribute to the economic vitality of the communities it serves. The Citizens Bank Foundation also provided $72,500 in contributions to seven organizations serving the homeless across New Hampshire. These grants will support individuals and families who need housing, food and social services.
Commerce Bank presented hundreds of toys and a check for $675 to the Worcester County U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program for 2013. A corporate sponsor of Toys for Tots, the bank collected the toys through its 13 offices in Central Massachusetts. Pictured at the presentation, from left to right, are: Commerce Bank Senior Vice President Michael Roy and Commercial Real Estate Lending Assistant Sue Card; Marine Gunnery Sergeant Cesar Munoz and Master Sergeant Richard DeLorge; and Commerce Bank Executive Assistant Lisa Antoniotti. 28 BANKING NEW ENGLAND
Kennebunk Savings Bank
Late last year, the Kennebunk Savings Bank Foundation announced its largest grant ever, $200,000 for Southern Maine Agency on Aging’s newest project, a center to provide day care services for adults in Biddeford. The grant will be used for a new, state-of-the-art, 10,000-square-foot facility for the Southern Maine Agency on Aging in Biddeford. The facility will be able to serve 50 clients with dementia per day and is expected to provide a place for socialization, supervision, help with chronic conditions, and therapy for patients, as well as support for caregivers. Southern Maine Agency on Aging’s capital campaign is working on raising $6 million, which will provide for two adult day facilities, the Biddeford location and another in Falmouth, as well as a $1 million endowment fund to ensure access to the facilities for people of all income levels. Construction has already begun on facilities; the Biddeford facility will open in the fall of 2014 and the Falmouth facility in early 2014.
The MutualOne Charitable Foundation, based in Framingham, Mass., has awarded $2,000 to Strengthening Youth in a United Way (SYUW ), an initiative endorsed by the Framingham Public Schools. The SYUW project is designed to explore innovative strategies to foster healthy male behaviors, promote healthy relationships, and empower adolescent boys to plan for a successful future. The grant was among awards totaling $45,000 made by the foundation in its most recent round of funding. The MutualOne Charitable Foundation is a continuation of the Framingham Cooperative Bank Charitable Foundation, following the 2012 merger of Framingham Co-operative Bank and Natick Federal Savings Bank. Since it was originally established in 1998, the foundation has donated over $2.3 million to charitable, educational, and civic initiatives that improve and enhance the quality of life in Framingham, Natick, and surrounding communities.
South Shore Bank
Meredith Village Savings Bank
Pictured at the presentation to Interfaith Social Services are, from left: Kory Lydon, retail analyst, South Shore Bank; John Boucher, president and CEO, South Shore Bank; Rick Doane, executive director, Interfaith Social Services; and Linda Boisvert, administrative assistant, South Shore Bank. South Shore Bank presented a check for $1,004 to Interfaith Social Services, representing the bank’s contribution to the organization’s annual Feed the Hungry Gala, and the proceeds of a fundraising campaign on the bank’s Twitter and Facebook pages. In addition, South Shore Bank collected gifts from employees and customers that were donated to Interfaith Social Services and the Department of Children & Families.
TD Bank Lucienne Boisvert, pictured with her donations, is one of many local supporters of Meredith Village Savings Bank’s Mitten Tree Program. In 2013, Boisvert hand-crocheted and donated 100 scarves, to be distributed to community members in need this winter. Meredith Village Savings Bank contributed $3,240 to local nonprofit organizations in New Hampshire through its 2013 Mitten Tree Program. A total of 1,620 winter weather accessories, including hats, mittens and scarves, were also collected and distributed to local families. In the weeks before Christmas, each of the bank’s 11 offices accepts and displays donated handmade or purchased mittens, hats and scarves. For each item donated, MVSB provided a $2 contribution to local charitable organizations within the communities the bank serves. Nonprofit organizations benefiting from the 2013 program fell into three different categories. Local senior service organizations shared a total amount of $1,228. Local humane societies split $738, and local food pantries benefited with equal distribution from $1,274.
The TD Charitable Foundation has awarded a total of $2.5 million in grants to support affordable housing initiatives through its eighth annual “Housing for Everyone” grant competition. The “Housing for Everyone” competition, the TD Charitable Foundation’s signature program to bolster affordable housing efforts, invited nonprofits from Maine to Florida to submit proposals outlining their plans and initiatives. Winning organizations in New England states were: Connecticut: Mutual Housing of Greater Hartford Inc.; Maine: Community Housing of Maine Inc., in Portland; Massachusetts: Valley Community Development Corporation, in Northampton; Twin Cities Community Development Corporation in Fitchburg; Lawrence Community Works Inc., in Lawrence; New Hampshire: NeighborWorks Greater Manchester; Rhode Island: Pawtucket Citizens Development Corporation; and Vermont: Champlain Housing Trust, in Burlington. BNE BANKING NEW ENGLAND
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Bangor Savings Bank captured the top SBA Lender designation for Maine for the third year in a row in 2013. The bank issued $10.4 million in small-business loans to 74 businesses during the 2013 federal fiscal year, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, which noted that Maine was the only New England state with an increase in both the number and dollar value of SBA loans in federal fiscal 2013. The SBA defines a small business as one with fewer than 500 employees. According to 2008 data, there are about 147,500 small businesses in Maine, accounting for nearly 60 percent of all private-sector jobs.
• Bangor Savings • Katahdin Trust Company • Mascoma Mutual Financial Services Corporation • Nashua Bank • Rockland Trust Bank
Katahdin Trust Company
Katahdin Trust Company is opening a new branch in Fort Kent, Maine, at the site of a former Bank of Maine branch that closed on Dec. 13, 2013. Company president and CEO Jon Prescott says the new branch completes Katahdin’s coverage of Aroostok County. The bank has 18 locations statewide.
Mascoma Mutual Financial Services Corporation
Mascoma Mutual Financial Services Corporation, headquartered in Lebanon, N.H., and Connecticut River Bancorp Inc., headquartered in Charlestown, N.H., entered a definitive agreement for the merger of Connecticut Riverand its subsidiary, Connecticut River Bank, NA, with and into Mascomaand its subsidiary, Mascoma Savings Bank. Connecticut River shareholders are to receive $18.15 per share in cash, giving the
transaction a value of approximately $26.7 million. The agreement was approved by both banks’ boards, and the transaction is subject to approval by the shareholders of Connecticut River and the corporators of Mascoma, as well as customary regulatory approvals. Upon completion of the merger, one member of the board of directors of Connecticut River will join the boards of directors of Mascoma and Mascoma Savings Bank. The transaction is expected to close in the third calendar quarter of 2014.
The Nashua Bank, a Newport, N.H.-based division of Lake Sunapee Bank, celebrated the opening of its second banking office in Nashua during fourth quarter 2013. The 2,000-square-foot office includes a drive-up, has an open-environment setting instead of a traditional teller line, and a “relationship banker” customer service model, allowing customers to visit one person for all their needs.
Rockland Trust Bank
Independent Bank Corp., parent company of Rockland Trust Bank, converted four branches of the former Mayflower Bank to the Rockland Trust brand in the fourth quarter of 2013, following the approval of the $37 million acquisition of Plymouth, Mass.-based Mayflower Bank. Rockland Trust, the second-largest community bank in Massachusetts, is selling the remaining four Mayflower branches. Rockland Trust has acquired several smaller banks in recent years, expanding from its base south of Boston into the northern and western suburbs. BNE
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