Coastal Heritage Bank is an evolving community institution that was formed through the merger of four unique banks that each have their own storied histories dating as far back as 1840. To date we have successfully integrated operationally and continue to evolve as a successful, dynamic and relevant institution that is proud of the communities we serve.
We also operate in an extremely competitive banking landscape where consumers have many options for traditional banking services; not only from Coastal Heritage Bank and other community banks, but regional banks, national banks, credit unions and increasingly fintech companies that operate like a bank without actually being so.
We are constantly working to provide the best and most current banking channels for our current customers and future customers alike. In addition, we constantly assess our service delivery model to measure its effectiveness in both serving the public and operating in a profitable manner.
In assessing the banking landscape in Massachusetts (and beyond) one trend is undeniable; that is the consolidation of branch networks to operate more profitably. This has been occurring at a heightened pace over the past several years. Consumers have been visiting physical branch locations on a less frequent basis for many years, and the process has only accelerated in the past year due to COVID restrictions. With the introduction of additional digital choices, most consumers do not have to visit a physical branch to conduct most routine banking transactions.
As stated above, we constantly assess our service delivery model to measure its effectiveness in both serving the public and operating in a profitable manner. To that end, we have made the decision to sell our branch offices located in Lynn and Nahant to Reading Cooperative Bank. Reading Cooperative is a like-minded institution with its very own rich history of community banking excellence on the North Shore. They are actively looking to expand their market on the North Shore so acquiring new physical branch locations makes strategic sense to them. No current employees will lose their positions as a result of this decision. In addition, both banks share many of the same primary service vendors which will temper the amount of disruption to our North Shore employees and customers. There is also the added benefit of having bank operational headquarters in very close proximity. It is anticipated that the transfer will be completed by the end of 2021.
This decision was not made lightly. Careful consideration and lengthy discussions were conducted between the Board of Directors and Senior Management over the past year. Divesting of two branch locations on the North Shore will allow us to focus our time, energy and resources on our South Shore market where we already have a well-established and expansive market presence. This is a sound business decision made in the very best interest of our customers, our employees and our institution.
Coastal Heritage Bank will continue to evolve and the Board of Directors and Senior Management will always make decisions based on what is best for our institution, our employees, customers and the communities we are privileged to serve.
Our history continues to be written. I thank each and every one of you who work to make Coastal Heritage Bank an exceptional community bank and a vibrant community partner.
Robert W. Terravecchia, Jr.
President/Chief Executive Officer