The Boston Business Journal reports that a union-owned bank that does yacht financing is putting up some of the best asset-growth numbers in New England.
First Trade Union Bank’s top executive is a product of big corporate banking and his shareholders are union pension funds. Yet the South Boston bank in the Seaport District isn’t just a blue-collar lender. The bank does some yacht financing and outsources mortgage loan originations to a New Jersey company.
Chief Executive Michael Butler, who once ran Cleveland-based KeyCorp.’s $14 billion consumer finance division, has recast the lender by deepening ties with unions while emphasizing lending to small and medium-size companies. The outcome has been explosive deposit and asset growth since he took the bank’s helm in early 2008.
First Trade’s assets surged 50 percent to $750 million in the second quarter, compared with $501 million in the year-ago period. Net loans are up 33 percent and deposits have soared 65 percent in the past year, according to regulatory filings.
In contrast, the average asset growth among the 50 largest community banks in Massachusetts was only 4 percent during the same period, according to regulatory filings.
“I don’t have any magic juice,” Butler said.
Instead, Butler says volatile financial conditions are rewarding community banks. And new deposits and fresh talent are going to community banks at the expense of large national banks.
Most community banks are reeling in new business, to be sure, but not at the rate of First Trade Union Bank.
“We’re getting a lot of looks, in terms of clients and human capital, because of market conditions,” Butler said. “It’s pretty straightforward.”
Read More at: The Boston Business Journal