“We’ve turned back the clock on banking,” said Raymond Giovanni, branch manager of the new Union Savings Bank on Route 111. “We’re old fashioned. We have passbook accounts, Christmas clubs and even a free coin counter. We’re here to be part of the community.”
It showed as dozens of Monroe residents stopped by Friday afternoon to look over the new bank and enjoy its old-time hospitality - hot dogs on the grill, an ice cream truck, radio station Star 99.9 with morning personality Tad Lamire and raffles for fun and profit.
“They did a wonderful job here,” said John Ferrari, a 20 year resident.
Three generations of Monroe’s Yaworowski family agreed. “We’ve never seen a bank do this before.” When pressed as to whether they would be moving their banking, the smiles and a “You bet” were immediate.
Ray and Diane Ganser, Monroe residents for 43 years, stopped by with their grandchildren from Rhode Island. “Union Savings Bank is a class act bank,” said Ganzer. His wife added “They’re an asset to the community.”
Shannon, 7, thought Union Savings was a good bank and that the chocolate ice cream was “yummy.” Her five-year-old sister, Neala, preferred her chocolate cone with rainbow sprinkles, but agreed it was a “great bank.”
“It’s all in the plan,” said Giovanni. “Teach them (the children) about banks and money when they’re young. Monroe has some 19,000 residents. We want to serve them all.”
Union Savings Bank encourages children of all ages to open a Young Savers Account. No minimum deposit required.
“We’re also able to give children a better interest rate than adults receive, so that they can see their money grow faster,” said Giovanni.
He explained that Union Savings Bank is a non-stock company. Instead of hundreds of stockholders that the bank must keep happy with hefty dividends, the bank’s depositors are basically owners. That allows the entire Union Savings Bank operation, comprised of 29 branches, to put 20% of its profits back into the communities it serves.
Victor Catalano, a local attorney, said he has known Giovanni for years and expects him to make the bank a big success. “He is a great asset to the bank,” he said.
According to Amy Morris, assistant vice president and a public relations specialist for Union Savings Bank, the Monroe branch is dedicated to the community. “It’s our ‘Signature’ branch,” she said, which means it carries the new branded look and feel, the new bank signage, and has gone “green” with an interior floor of recycled glass and energy-efficient power.
“The branch is full service,” she said, “including a full-time mortgage originator and a commercial lender on the premises, which many other banks don’t have.”
Union Savings Bank broke ground on its several acres of dirt and weed at 411 Monroe Turnpike on June 29 last year. During the open house celebration, Monroe residents “oohed and awed” at the bank’s architecture, flowering gardens and contemplation park complete with pond.