Savings Bank of Walpole moves to affiliate with corporationBy MEGHAN PIERCE
Union Leader Correspondent
January 23. 2018 10:11PM
WALPOLE — Though on track to become affiliated with a larger bank, the Savings Bank of Walpole will retain its name as well as local leadership and board control, according to Gregg R. Tewksbury, president and CEO.
“The customers should see no impact in the short term,” Tewksbury said. “In the long term, customers will have opportunities for greater technology advances
The bank, which was founded in 1875, has two locations in Walpole and two in Keene. Last month it announced plans to become affiliated with New Hampshire Mutual Bancorp.
This would not be a merger or a consolidation, Tewksbury said, in which small banks get gobbled up and lose their independence and identity.
“We will maintain our independent brand our communities expect and want,” he said. This will, however, allow the Savings Bank of Walpole to compete with the big banks through shared resources, he said.
“More and more people are coming to our banks via online channels and mobile devises so it’s never been more important to be investing in technology and attracting new customers using technology and that takes scale that comes with large banks,” Tewksbury said.
New Hampshire Mutual Bancorp already has two other savings banks that have become affiliated with it — Merrimack County Savings Bank, in Nashua and greater Concord; and Meredith Village Savings Bank, in and around Laconia and Portsmouth.
“We really don’t see the current customers being impacted as the banks themselves still remain an independent community banks,” Tewksbury said, adding the bank affiliations will allow for sharing resources such as free ATM use of each other’s bank ATMs.
New Hampshire Mutual Bancorp president and CEO Sam Laverack also announced in December his retirement effective June 30. Tewksbury has been tapped to succeed him as president and CEO of New Hampshire Mutual Bancorp.
Tewksbury is expected to lead the combined organization with the guidance of the boards and management teams of all three banks as well as MillRiver Wealth Management, an investment-services arm created through a merger of portions of the two banks.
It could be late June before the changes are finalized, he said, saying the corporations will be meeting during the spring to vote on the affiliations of the Savings Bank of Walpole.
“We’re in the process of putting applications together that will be submitted to our regulators,” Tewksbury said. “We hope to have those filed by the end of next week.”