“It’s a very good time to be a community bank,” said Richard L. Roy, executive vice president and chief banking officer of Mechanics Savings Bank in Auburn.
Now in its 138th year, Mechanics Savings has a solid history of serving local people, making local decisions and investing in the community. It all began in a building on Main Street, Auburn where the bank served area residents for well over a century.
Today, the main office is located at 100 Minot Avenue and the bank has made major investments in its facilities. They’ve built a new branch in Lewiston, a new operations center in Auburn, and a beautiful branch in Windham. “We are actively looking into moving into a new main office in 2013,” Roy said.
While this attention to infrastructure is vital to achieving the bank’s vision, Roy emphasized that, “We like to think we are in the people business first and banking second.” He noted that Mechanics Savings consistently hires “the best people in our local market,” with 15 experienced bankers added to the staff in the past four years.
“Our outstanding staff has always been the heart and soul of the bank,” Roy said.
That’s where Mechanics Savings Bank’s dedication to social responsibility comes in. Its employees are committed to giving back to the communities in which they work and live. Over the past 10 years, Mechanics has provided more than $1.1 million in charitable giving. Last year, they provided contributions to more than 60 local organizations, sponsored numerous local events, and continued their tradition of offering local high school students $15,000 in scholarships. In 2011, employees shared 500-plus hours of their time and talents volunteering with organizations that make our community a great place to live.
“We encourage employees to be involved in the community,” Roy said “and we give them bank time to volunteer.”
Mechanics Savings has dominated retail mortgage banking in the area for quite a while. The bank has been the top producer in Androscoggin County for several years and they close more than twice the mortgages of its closest competitor.
“Commercial banking also has been a great story for us,” Roy said. “With the top talent in the market, we have tripled the portfolio in less than four years.” He said the bank has seen very strong deposit growth in Androscoggin County. It currently holds the third-largest market share, and that’s with only two branches. Roy said they have more Androscoggin County deposits in dollars than Bank of America and Key Bank combined.
In the first quarter of 2012, Mechanics Savings Bank launched mobile banking, 24-hour telephone support for online banking, and a new line of business checking products. They are slated to roll out a new line of consumer checking products in June.
Last year, Mechanics introduced a new logo, signage and tagline. They also redesigned the
bank’s website, added online mortgage application capabilities, and invested in a new core system that will meet technological needs for the next decade. “With Intuit as our partner, we can offer online retail and business cash management services that will rival any bank in our market,” Roy said.
Roy shared that the new tagline, “Move Forward,” is reflective of the company’s culture.
“As our branding strategy evolves, the community will see that we are in a transformational period and we are willing to make bold moves in order to ‘Move Forward’,” he said. “We want customers looking for a full relationship with us, and we will, in turn, give them top-quality people to deal with – people who like coming to work, who love the community and care about their customers.”
Main office banking center:
100 Minot Avenue, Auburn
Lewiston banking center:
664 Main Street, Lewiston
Windham banking center:
3 Drive In Lane, Windham