Taunton bank finding new clients, revenue in insurance
‘We’re trying to take the insurance field and [match it to] the footprint of the bank.’
PERSON OF INTEREST: Patrick J. Murray, executive vice president, treasurer and chief operating officer at Bristol County Savings Bank, says the financial institution has put more focus on noninterest income recently.
When its board of corporators meets on March 13, Patrick J. Murray will be named the new president and CEO of Bristol County Savings Bank, replacing E. Dennis Kelly, Jr. who is retiring.
Since its beginning in 1846, the Taunton-based bank has had a solid presence in the community. It is a $1.2 billion, full-service financial institution offering consumers and businesses a comprehensive range of products and services in southeastern Massachusetts and northern Rhode Island.
In 1976, the bank opened its first branch office in Raynham Center and it now has 12 branches in 10 municipalities. Services expanded in 1996 when it acquired Anawon Trust to provide wealth-management services, and again in 2008, by acquiring a substantial interest in the Farrell Backlund Insurance Agency.
Farrell Backlund has allowed the bank to diversify revenue as part of a focus on noninterest income, and provide customers with both banking and insurance services.
PBN: Your bank is a mutual bank. How does that affect your structure?
MURRAY: There are about 600 mutual banks in the United States and most of them are either in the Northeast or the Northwest. People in the community that could not get loans from larger banks pooled their money and formed a mutual financial institution. The bank has no owners but the depositors have liquidation rights. As far as our governance, we have 100 corporators that elect 15 trustees.
PBN: How does that work to your advantage or disadvantage?
MURRAY: The one disadvantage of being a mutual is that the only way we can increase our capital is through our earnings. We cannot issue stock so we have to be cognizant of our bottom line.
Our capital ratio now is above 14 percent, which makes us one of the strongest banks in the region, if not the country. We don’t have to worry about stockholders looking over our shoulders, forcing management to make decisions based on stock price instead of the community.