East Weymouth and Weymouth, MA; August 14, 2018 — Equitable Bancorp, MHC (“Equitable MHC”), the mutual bank holding company for Equitable Bank (“Equitable”), a $332.9 million asset community bank headquartered in East Weymouth, and South Shore Mutual Holding Company (“South Shore MHC”), the mutual bank holding company for Coastal Heritage Bank (“Coastal”), a $517.1 million-asset community bank headquartered in Weymouth, announced today they have executed a definitive merger agreement to merge their institutions.
The definitive merger agreement was unanimously approved by the directors of each institution. Under the terms of the agreement, Equitable MHC and South Shore MHC will merge under the “Equitable Bancorp, MHC” name and immediately thereafter Equitable and Coastal will merge under the “Coastal Heritage Bank” name. The merged bank will be headquartered in Weymouth. Equitable Bancorp, Inc. (“Equitable Bancorp”), the current mid-tier bank holding company of Equitable, will remain the mid-tier bank holding company of the merged bank.
“Equitable Bank and Coastal Heritage Bank proudly share a rich history of being two of the oldest surviving co- operative banks in Massachusetts,” said Donald P. Gill, Coastal’s President and Chief Executive Officer, and Robert W. Terravecchia, Jr., Equitable’s President and Chief Executive Officer, in a joint statement. “Both banks share a common culture and strong commitment to the communities we serve.”
The post-merger executive leadership and management team of Equitable MHC, Equitable Bancorp and Coastal Heritage Bank will be drawn from both Equitable Bank and Coastal Heritage Bank. Joseph C. Hayes, Coastal’s Chairman of the Board, will serve as Chairman of the Board of Equitable MHC, Equitable Bancorp and Coastal Heritage Bank. Mr. Gill will serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of each entity. Mr. Terravecchia will serve as Vice Chairman of the Board and Executive Vice President of each entity and become President and Chief Executive Officer of each entity upon Mr. Gill’s retirement on or about April 30, 2020.
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals and approval by the respective corporators of Equitable MHC and South Shore MHC.
Luse Gorman, PC served as legal counsel to Equitable, and Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP served as legal counsel to Coastal.
Merger Vision Statement
To combine the resources of Coastal Heritage Bank and Equitable Bank, to create a larger and more sustainable organization that, through the prudent stewardship of our Board of Directors and vision and hard work of our employees, will have the necessary resources to effectively serve our customers and community for future generations.
1. Who is Equitable Bank?
In 2015, recognizing the need to grow in order to remain strong and competitive in an increasingly complex environment, the holding company of Equitable Cooperative Bank voted to merge into the holding company of Weymouth Bank – setting the stage for the banks to come together in August of 2016. The mission of Equitable Bank is to remain a community bank dedicated to developing long-term customer relationships in the communities of the North Shore and South Shore by offering high-quality products and superior customer service. Management will strive to provide a safe, profitable return on investment by focusing on prudent investment strategies that will be beneficial to the Bank, our customers, employees and the community.
Equitable Bank has branch offices in East Weymouth, South Weymouth, Quincy, Kingston, Nahant and Lynn.
2. Why Merge?
In an increasingly competitive community banking environment there are vast benefits and economies of scale when two institutions merge to form one. Savings in compliance costs, auditing costs, and regulatory expenses to name just a few. It is also more efficient to expand an institutions branch network via a merger than through construction of new facilities.
3. What are some of the benefits to me?
As a customer, you will benefit from:
- More banking locations with 15 branches from the North Shore to the South Shore;
- Larger commercial lending capacity;
- A wide range of affordable housing finance options and expertise;
- Mobile wallet access with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay;
4. When will the merger be completed?
Pending regulatory approval, we anticipate that the merger will be complete by April 2019.
5. Will any branches close?
No. And you will continue to be served by the same team of professionals you have come to know over the years.
6. Will my account numbers or debit card number change?
We are working with our core data processor to determine if any account numbers will need to change. You will receive ongoing communication regarding the conversion process and if there are any impacts to your specific account numbers you will be contacted directly by bank staff.
7. What about online banking and the mobile app?
Equitable Bank customers will be able to utilize their current user names and passwords to access the Coastal Heritage Bank online banking platform.
Bill Pay payees will be transferred as well. The Coastal Heritage Bank mobile app will need to be downloaded on your device to access mobile banking.
Again, existing Equitable Bank customers mobile banking user names and passwords will not change.
8. What about deposit insurance?
Coastal Heritage Bank is a secure and well-capitalized bank and a safe place for deposits. All deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) up to $250,000.
In addition, all deposit balances greater than $250,000 are fully insured by the Share Insurance Fund (SIF).
The Share Insurance Fund (SIF) is a private fund owned by the member co-operative banks, which insures all deposits at co-operative banks in Massachusetts above Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) limits.
The unique combined insurance coverage afforded by the FDIC and the Share Insurance Fund provides the best deposit insurance available, whether deposit balances are held in passbook, statement or certificate-type accounts, or in any combination of these accounts. At a Massachusetts co-operative bank, your deposits are always fully protected.
Since its inception, the Share Insurance Fund has preserved the enviable claim of member co-operative banks that “no depositor has ever lost a penny in any Massachusetts co-operative bank.”
9. What about ATM access?
After the merger is completed, Coastal Heritage Bank will be a member of Allpoint, America’s largest surcharge-free ATM Network with over 55,000 ATMs.
For locations and additional information please visit http://www.allpointnetwork.com/
10. What will the name of the Bank be?
The name of the combined bank will be Coastal Heritage Bank.