Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

A Stronger Commitment to Mutual Charter Announced by New PeoplesBank CEO, Thomas W. Senecal


Changes are made to the bank’s bylaws to ensure continuing independence, customer loyalty, community support, and employee engagement.

“PeoplesBank will stay a mutual bank for the long term,” noted Thomas W. Senecal, the President and new Chief Executive Officer of PeoplesBank in announcing changes to the bank’s bylaws that will make any future conversion of the bank to a stockholder-owned company exceedingly more difficult.

As a mutual bank, PeoplesBank is responsible to its depositors, employees and the community, according to Mr. Senecal. “That provides us with a niche in the market,” he suggested. “The publicly owned banks have a quarter-to-quarter earnings responsibility. As a mutual institution, we do not have that stress or pressure and can focus on the long-term viability of the institution and the best interests of customers over a long period of time.”

Mr. Senecal cited PeoplesBank’s opening of three LEED® certified branches, creation of a Customer Innovation Lab and hiring of a Data Scientist, along with its significant investment in a business intelligence platform, as evidence of the bank’s long-term strategies. “We are a market leader amongst community banks in terms of the adoption of new technologies, but we have done so while maintaining our financial support of local charitable causes,” he said. “We are also an organization that is focused on growth and stability. Our associates contribute significantly to our success, and therefore, it is our responsibility to help ensure both their career development and healthy work-life balance. PeoplesBank is able to do all of these things because we are an independent, mutually chartered bank, and that is worth preserving.”

The bylaw changes adopted by the bank’s Board of Corporators at its annual meeting this year were specifically enacted to make it more difficult to convert to stockholder ownership and include the addition of a requirement that a supermajority of corporators vote in favor of any such change, as well as a non-enrichment provision that ensures the bank’s board of directors and senior officers would not benefit financially from such a change.

 “The bank is committed to the long-term future,” says Mr. Senecal. “I believe it is my responsibility to ensure that this bank is here for the next 130 years as it was for the first 130 years. Our stability fosters customer loyalty. We are here for the long term, and our customers value that.”

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