In a changeover with noteworthy symbolism, the $500 million First Citizens' Federal Credit Union of Fairhaven, Mass. has taken over a vacant bank building in Mattapoisett, a coastal community, opening it as a CU branch.
The Mattapoisett site, formerly a Sovereign Bank facility and vacant for more than a year, for decades was occupied by leading banks in the community including a large savings bank. Sovereign Bank itself was recently sold to Santander Bank of Spain.
First Citizens' said it will hold a grand opening ceremony for its new Mattapoisett facility on Sept. 13. It also plans in the spring of 2011 to open a second branch in Mashpee bringing to 10 its Massachusetts branches.
To promote expansion, First Citizens' this week embarked on a marketing and media blitz visiting with editors of the Cape Cod News on Tuesday.
"We feel fortunate that we've been able to see positive loan growth this year in spite of the unemployment and recessionary conditions," said Frank Almeida, vice president/retail & marketing.
Peter Muise, president/CEO, added, "we have been very careful and prudent in our business dealings over the past few years, and as a result have been able to not only withstand the financial pressures, but to overcome them and grow." The Mashpee facility, said First Citizens' represents a "further market incursion into the Cape Cod market." The CU said it is in final negotiations to buy space "in one of the busiest shopping areas on Cape Cod."