Annual Meeting of Wakefield Bancorp, MHC
5/7/2018 – (Wakefield, MA) – The past year was a successful one for The Savings Bank, according to Robert J. DiBella, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wakefield Bancorp, MHC, the holding company for The Savings Bank.
In his remarks during the 149th annual meeting of the corporation, President DiBella reported that Wakefield Bancorp’s balance sheet increased $40.5 million to $578.5 million, a growth of 7.5%, while the real estate loan portfolio grew $23.6 million for a total of $284.5 million. He noted that of that 9.1% growth, 54 loans were made under the Bank’s First Time Homebuyer Program, bringing the total amount of these loans to $204.5 million to first time homebuyers. The commercial real estate portfolio also increased 16.7 million, a growth of 12%, totaling $155.8 million.
In addition, President DiBella noted that Wakefield Bancorp is considered well-capitalized by various regulatory agencies. This is based on its strong Tier 1 capital to average assets of 11.1% and total capital to risk-weighted assets of 18.6%.
Cybersecurity preparedness remains a top priority for the Bank, President DiBella stressed in his remarks.
“We take the responsibility of safeguarding our customer’s financial assets and information to the highest degree and remain diligent in our efforts to protect our customer’s information.”
Bank President DiBella also recognized the Bank’s commitment to fulfilling its mission as a mutual community bank, always keeping customer expectations in sight and striving to meet those expectations. He discussed the Bank’s efforts to support the communities, including the civic and nonprofit organizations through donations made by The Savings Bank, First Financial Trust and the two charitable foundations: The Savings Bank Charitable Foundation and the Donald E. Garrant Foundation. Bank staff also reached out to the communities by embracing the Bank’s philanthropic efforts and dedicating their time and efforts to these organizations.
The Savings Bank introduced and upgraded several new or enhanced products in 2017, including mobile banking capabilities for retail and business customers and the enhancement of cash management services and outreach to small business customers.
The Bank president touched on the continuing shift from personalized banking to new technology and digital banking, citing a recent industry survey which revealed that 55% of all American adults use mobile banking apps, with 70% of those checking their mobile app at least once a week. A total of 16% of all mobile users check their accounts daily. The Savings Bank continues to keep pace with the rapidly changing face of banking and is instituting innovative initiatives, according to President DiBella.
“Consumers are much more aware of their financial position than ever before,” he said. “They’re not just checking their accounts on their mobile apps to see if a check has cleared, or if a direct deposit has been made, they’re using their smartphone to pay for groceries, apply for a loan or pay their bills.”
“As a result of this increased consumer awareness and use of technology, community banks, such as The Savings Bank, must operate in a digital world. All the while maintaining its focus on customer contact at the branch offices,” he continued. “The Savings Bank has been working to enhance the branch offices, continuing to redesign its branch offices to emphasize service and customer relationships.”
According to President DiBella, the Bank completed the redesign of the Andover office in 2017. A redesign of the Lynnfield Center Branch will start in 2018.
In closing, he thanked the staff and officers for their hard work to ensure the success of The Savings Bank and all that had been accomplished in 2017.
At the conclusion of the business meeting, President DiBella announced the election of two new Corporators, Mike Reed and Laura Tanner.