2012-03-30 / Business Review


Employees of the new Bath Savings Institution on Ocean Street in South Portland are out to prove that their bank is the best in town. The bank, which has been around since 1852, opened their newest branch this month at 225 Ocean Street, on the corner of Broadway. “We focus on providing exceptional service to our customers,” said Anne Marie McCoubrey, vice president and branch manager. “We are going to do in South Portland what we have always done.” Bath Saving Institution brings to South Portland quality customer care and a full range of banking options, including commercial and personal loans, mortgage lending, retail and personal banking, commercial banking and online banking services. The bank also provides investment management through its subsidiary, Bath Savings Trust Company. Bauer Financial, an independent organization that ranks banks and other financial institutions, has ranked Bath Savings Institution a five-star bank— the top rank—each quarter for the past 20 years. This places them in the top 10% of banks nationwide. “Bath Savings is a mutual savings bank which allows us to focus on our customers more. We don’t answer to stockholders,” McCoubrey said. The response has been great since the bank had its official opening on March 5 in South Portland. “It’s been nice. People tell us they are happy we are here in South Portland. I am proud of the beautiful building and how it fits into the neighborhood. It’s a nice fit in South Portland and I hope more and more people come in, say hi and see what we have to offer,” McCoubrey said. The branch’s customer base so far, she added, is made up of both existing and new customers. “Many of our existing customers were just waiting for this branch to open. They are very excited to see us have a permanent home here in this wonderful community.”

McCoubrey said she and her coworkers, who include tellers Abby Perkins, Julie Chew, Shawn Darling, Senior Teller Michael Lapham, and Customer Service Representative Miranda Stein, are looking forward to getting involved in the South Portland community. Community involvement, McCoubrey said, is something that is part of the culture at Bath Savings.

The bank was a major financial sponsor of the South Portland Winterfest that took place Feb. 17 and Feb. 18. McCoubrey said she and Perkins volunteered at the event and Sneakers, the company’s children’s banking mascot handed out gloves at the event.

“We were happy to participate and sponsor this event for its first year. Even though we didn’t have ice and snow, it was nice. It really was,” McCoubrey said of the event. “It was a beautiful day.”

She said she knows that this is the first of many community events the bank gets involved with.

One community program that has long been supported by the bank’s Portland branch will be coming to South Portland next month.

“In our Portland office, we work with the Portland Public Library’s outreach program,” she said. “We volunteer once a month.”

As part of that effort in South Portland, once a month employees of the Ocean Street branch will visit the residence of the Betsey Ross House and other people who can’t leave their residences.

“The outreach program was great,” said McCoubrey, who managed the Portland branch before coming to lead the South Portland branch. “The employees loved it. They took turns with it and couldn’t wait to go.”

A strong sense of community, she said, is something the bank looks for when it establishes a new branch location.

McCoubrey, who lives in South Portland, is excited to work in the city she has roots in.

“I grew up in Cape Elizabeth and South Portland. You could say I am back home again,” McCoubrey said. “My son went through the South Portland School Department right through high school. I was involved in the schools and his extra-curricular activities.”

“I know the people and the community,” she continued. “It’s nice to work in the community I live in. I am familiar with it and it is nice to see familiar faces of people I know. I am proud to tell them I work at Bath Savings. It is a great bank.”

Another way the bank is invested in the community is through a program called Neighbor to Neighbor.

“When a customer opens an (eChecking NOW) account, they can choose from a list of non-profits and Bath Savings will send a donation to that non-profit,” McCoubrey said. The electronic banking account includes free online banking and bill pay, mobile banking and requires no minimum balance or charges a monthly fee for debit cards or monthly service charge.

Currently the list includes the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Maine, Family Crisis Services and the South Portland Historical Society. So far, she said, each of the three has been the recipient of Bath Savings’ donation.

“We believe in it. It is a great way to invest in our community. The non-profits on our list are very appreciative of it,” McCoubrey said.

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