Those of you who closely read everything I write know of my
obsession fascination with photos of Peoples Federal Savings Bank CEO Thomas J. Leetch, Jr. Back in the day, when Peoples was still a mutual bank (basically as close to a credit union as you can get and still be a bank), kidlet and I were always assured by his unsmiling visage on signs in the lobby and in the quarterly bank newsletter: This, we concluded, was a man who would fight to his last to preserve our deposits: Stern, tough, single mindedly ordering up more guards to protect our money in the vault. He looked like the kind of guy who, if you looked up "banker" in the dictionary, there would be his photo.
Then, four years ago, the bank switched from a mutual bank to a publicly held corporation. And all of a sudden, stern no-nonsense Thomas J. Leetch Jr.'s visage was replaced with a happy, smiling Thomas J. Leetch Jr. Wha? Steven Syre reveals the reason for Thomas J.'s grin: The move from mutual to public corporation made him - and the bank president millionaires. And now they've sold the bank to a larger bank.
One can only hope against hope that the bank tellers and vice presidents who really made the bank run shared in the largesse, although since this is 2014 and a bank we're talking about, one despairs as to the answer to that.
Meanwhile, the Globe reports depositors at another local mutual bank, in Beverly, actually managed to up-end executives' efforts to cash in and go public.
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