Gardiner-based Savings Bank of Maine announced Monday it was changing its name to “The Bank of Maine,” and will be opening its first branch with that name in Portland in June.
The 177-year-old bank has 32 branches statewide, with a heavy concentration in central Maine, but with branches on the coast, up to Fort Kent and down to York. Over the last year, the bank has added more than 60 positions, beefing up its information technology department, adding staff in branches and hiring some senior credit officers and commercial loan officers, said John Everets, bank CEO and chairman.
Everets said Monday that the name change was meant to position the bank as a local brand, in an environment where many large banks dominate the market.
“When you think about what’s happened to large-scale banks and how they treat the consumer – lots of fees and customer service that’s less than satisfactory — it puts the consumer in a pretty difficult position,” said Everets. “We want to position ourselves as Maine’s bank — a bank that has all the services, all the products and better technology than most of the large banks, able to deliver the kind of customer service Mainers have been accustomed to.”
The name change will go into effect on May 16, 2011.
Everets said the Portland branch will be located at 2 Canal Plaza downtown, and the bank will have a substantial number of its executives headquartered there. The bank will offer consumer lending, residential mortgages, home equity lines, business lending, commercial real estate lending and other services from the branch, said Everets.
The Portland banking market continues to grow, with large banks such as TD Bank, Bank of America and KeyBank in strong positions and a constant push by community banks such as Bangor Savings, Gorham Savings and Norway Savings into the area, as well.
“Portland is a crowded market, but I think our style of banking will be well-received,” said Everets.
Over the last year, Everets said, the bank has made significant investments in its technology infrastructure, including a new $500,000 phone system and video-conferencing capabilities at all of its branches.
According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Savings Bank of Maine was the state’s 11th largest bank, ranked by deposits, as of June 30, 2010. The bank has $830 million in assets.