BY PAUL LEIGHTON
---- — BEVERLY — After 125 years, Beverly Cooperative Bank is removing the ‘cooperative’ from its name.
The bank announced recently that it has changed its name to Beverly Bank. Bank President and CEO Mike Wheeler said the signs on the bank’s four branches will start changing in the next month or so.
Wheeler said the “branding” change is being made to reflect the bank’s wider range of services, including an increase in commercial lending.
“Cooperative banks historically have been more of a consumer bank,” he said. “As time has progressed, most cooperative banks have focused more on commercial lending, which tends to be more profitable. We’re still a cooperative bank — same faces, same names, same service.”
Wheeler said cooperative banks in Saugus and Gloucester, as well as others, also have taken the ‘cooperative’ out of their names.
Beverly Cooperative Bank has three branches in Beverly and one in Salem and has assets of $320 million. A cooperative bank means the bank is owned by its depositors, who are represented by corporators.
Wheeler said it was important to keep “Beverly” as part of the bank’s name. With the demise of banks like Beverly Savings and Beverly National over the years, it is the last remaining bank with “Beverly” in its name.
“We’ve been in Beverly for 125 years,” Wheeler said. “A lot of goodwill goes with that name.”
Wheeler said community banks need to grow to compete. He said a merger or acquisition is “always on the table,” but nothing is planned at the moment.
“We’re going to continue to grow on a very reasonable and smart pace,” he said. “We’re still going to be 100 percent community-driven.”
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or email@example.com.