SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

February 14, 2014

Bank officials: No layoffs in merger

Deal brings together North Shore Bank, Saugusbank

(Continued)

LaFlamme said this transaction is different from one involving stock-based banks because it preserves a bank that is local to the North Shore.

Bradford said both LaFlamme and Tierney have deep local ties and are community leaders.

“We are just delighted that North Shore Bank and Saugusbank will be staying on the North Shore,” he said.

LaFlamme, a Newburyport resident, is past chairman of the North Shore Chamber of Commerce and serves as chairman of the board of Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport. Tierney is the past president of the Essex National Heritage Area Commission, Bradford said. Tierney was raised in Peabody and lives in Danvers, he said.

Tierney said this bank merger involved two banking institutions that are both mutual, compatible and have similar philosophies.

“To be able to grow our business base, we have to grow geographically,” said Tierney, who said the bank looked at opening branches elsewhere, but prime retail locations proved to have a lot of competition for them. The merger with North Shore Bank provided a way to grow.

The North Shore Bank name “more accurately reflects the market we serve,” Tierney said.

Saugusbank began to attract business outside of Saugus when it opened a branch on Route 1 seven years ago, Tierney said.

Over the next several months, the banks will merge into one, which will maintain a co-operative bank status. LaFlamme’s new title will be CEO of North Shore Bank and its parent holding company, North Shore Bancorp. Saugusbank’s Tierney will become the president and chief operating officer of both the bank and the bank holding company.

LaFlamme said that in a difficult economic climate, so-called “organic growth,” where the bank grows naturally, can be difficult.

“Size is important in this environment,” LaFlamme said. Banks are dealing with an increasing regulatory environment, and it can be expensive to meet these new banking rules.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at eforman@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.

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