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Wainwright Bank sold to Eastern Bank

Boston-based Wainwright Bank, which bills itself as "the country's leading socially progressive bank", is selling itself to much larger Eastern Bank, also based in Boston. They expect to close the transaction this fall, after which time the Wainwright name will eventually disappear.

[via Davis Square LiveJournal]

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I recently switched to Wainwright because I wanted a small community based bank (though I did consider Eastern). I guess I'll see how it goes with Eastern before making any decisions. At least it's not one of those huge ripoff schemes disguised as banks (BoA etc).

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Looks like a great bank is being gobbled up by a good bank. Could be worse, but I'd rather they both exist separately.

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Seriously, I JUST got my direct deposit switched over -- this is very distressing.

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Will we still have free Munchkins at Davis Square after the switch??

Hopefully the branches in Cambridge and Somerville will remain. At first blush, it looks like Wainwright's locations fill a hole not covered by Eastern. I guess I should consider myself lucky to have had a good bank this long. So many of my other banks got swallowed up. (Of course, there was the first bank I had here, Coolidge, which had to be taken over by FDIC.)

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Wainwright had been expanding slowly until maybe 3-4 years ago. I was beginning to wonder if their future was solid. The employees there are great and they don't have any gotcha fees like the national banks. I hope they stay on the SUM network though.

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great news actually.

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See the followup post the next day. Also the Davis Square LJ post and its followup.

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Yeah, I had seen that. I've also gotten bogus fees refunded at Big Nationals after making noise with them. I am guessing that since the person to whom the blogger spoke to get them refunded defended the fees, they're not totally on board with doing away with them. It seems like a bit of a half-win to me. If you still need to fight to get fees like that removed, and if it seems like they're bending their own rules to remove them, I'd put it in the category of "I don't expect that to work for me!"

I also got charged a bogus fee by Wainwright. They sent me a letter stating that my card had been compromised by an internal process -- somewhere in the nebula of credit card transactions. No actual card theft, or unauthorized use -- sort of like when some DOD laptop gets stolen and it's got a whole list of SSNs sitting in there, it's not actually getting abused but it sure could be anytime. The letter said they'd be sending me a new card -- and it never arrived. I asked them about it by phone and they said they'd send me a new one -- but charged me $5 for the privilege. I never fought it mostly due to lack of time to get to the bank, but it was sheisty.

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nt

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"they don't have any gotcha fees like the national banks"

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and hopefully they'll stay on it. I was disappointed when Citizens Bank and Cambridge Savings both left SUM earlier this year.

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Eastern Bank is not part of the SUM network and there are no Eastern Banks convenient to where I live in Hudson, MA. This is distressing as I was a happy Wainwright Bank customer for many years and was able to keep my account when I moved to Hudson because of the SUM network which allowed me to use the ATMs free at local banks. I am now looking for a new bank. The switch over was seamless though and agree Eastern Bank is so much better than BoA.

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According to this page
https://www.easternbank.com/site/personal/banking/...

Eastern *is* a member of SUM. or it sure implies that it is. Also, this page from SUM's website shows a couple Eastern-SUM ATMs in Lynn (which I get isn't Hudson but just using an example)

http://www.sum-atm.com/Results.aspx?ST=MA%20&City=...

The SUM website shows these ATMs in Hudson
http://www.sum-atm.com/Results.aspx?ST=MA%20&City=...

So maybe "Avidia" bank or the credit union listed is the way to go for you. good luck.

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See page 2 of this notice which is for ex-Wainwright ATM and debit card customers:

Q: Does Eastern Bank participate in the SUM Program?

A: Yes. You will continue to be able to use your Eastern Bank ATM Card or Debit MasterCard at SUM ATMs without being charged a surcharge.

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See page 2 of this notice which is for ex-Wainwright ATM and debit card customers:

Q: Does Eastern Bank participate in the SUM Program?

A: Yes. You will continue to be able to use your Eastern Bank ATM Card or Debit MasterCard at SUM ATMs without being charged a surcharge.

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So Robert Glassman's (Founder) soul is worth a few million dollars. Devotion to social justice and community, what a joke! The local community bank that prided itself on gay rights, attending community events, green banking, social responsibility and the prompt return of the Government's bailout money sells out to the highest bidder?!?!
This philanthropic millionaire needed more money?!?
Not to mention the blatant disregard for the employees who'll lose their jobs. The very people that worked to make Wainwright such a pleasant banking experience will soon be on the dole.

"The Soul of a Leader" (a book containing an interview with Glassman) is obviously laced with greed and self interest.

Glassman, you have disappointed the people of Boston in ways you'll never know.

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It looks to me like Wainwright and Eastern serve non-overlapping areas, so I'd be surprised to see any branches of either one closed (except perhaps one of the two downtown offices).

If Wainwright were selling out to one of the huge banks (BoA, Citizens, Sovereign, TD Bank) I'd be a lot more upset.

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First, Eastern will look hard at the back office (computer, human resources, marketing, etc.) and eliminate any positions which may be duplicative. Then they'll look at branch overlap.

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I've had a banking relationship with Wainwright since 1992, and it has been a positive one always. The personnel in its Downtown Branch have always been outstanding in resolving any issues I've encountered; and when for a time there was a "problem employee," others made up for and corrected that problem. I sincerely hope this will not affect the employment status of the many wonderful people presently employed by Wainwright - and that it will not adversely affect my relationship with the Bank. As a retired person, it has become more difficult to deal with all the paperwork and other "ins and outs" involved when required to change existing business relationships in any way.

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Despite its savvy marketing campaign, Wainwright was publicly traded and thus accountable to shareholders. Any publicly traded bank that does well is ripe for acquisition or merger - however "community" oriented it advertises itself to be. The safest, and most genuine, bet for community banking is credit unions or bona fide community banks which are not publicly traded.

Fooled you once, shame on them. Don't let them fool you twice.

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If a bank is not publicly traded, but is closely held by one or more families, does that make it less likely to be sold?

Even mutual savings banks sometimes seem to get sold -- for instance, Somerset Savings Bank (of Somerville) was sold to USTrust and is now part of Citizens Bank. South Boston Savings Bank was sold to Bank of Boston and is now part of Bank of America. Cambridgeport Savings was sold to Citizens. Charlestown Savings (my bank when I was an MIT student) went through a series of mergers to also end up as part of Citizens.

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Is in the process of converting from a mutual bank to a plain old boring stock-based bank. In preparation for a sale?

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With stockholders out of the equation, a bank isn't under as much pressure to expand rapidly. Of course mutual banks get sold but I think there is a different ethos governing each type of bank.

I banked at a two location family owned savings and loan for 22 years. They sold to a publicly traded "community" bank when it was time for the son of the founder to retire. In choosing the bank he would sell to, he did his best to ensure that his clientele would get good services and that all of his employees would be retained. A year after the sale of the S and L to I don't remember which smallish banking outfit, Sovereign bought that out so I bailed.

What accommodation has Wainwright made for its customers and employees? Until someone can convince me otherwise, the Wainwright "Community" angle was just cutsie marketing.

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for what that's worth. I'm going to withhold further judgment until I learn more. Even the manager of the Davis Square branch didn't know much more than we do when I visited her this afternoon.

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Interesting discussion. For those of us who swallowed the cutsie marketing of "a community bank" does anyone have any recommendations as to where to take our local banking business? My principal bank is an out-of-state credit union, so I chose Wainwright to be my local bank and for the most part was pleased with it (decent service, crappy rates and there were no SUM atm's on most of my daily routes).

How have people's experiences with Eastern been? Any others out there worth it? Which local credit unions seem competent in your opinion?

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The guys at Hingham are pretty good... (Tremont & Dwight)

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are all pretty good. Might not be convienent to everyone but I've had great expierences with all three.

I've heard Hyde Park Savings is ok.

Or google the town you live in and add "credit union" or "cooperative bank" after it. Many towns have great credit unions and cooperative banks.

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Wainwright Bank,(Plukas and Glassman)which bills itself as "the country's leading socially progressive bank" has completely forgotten that Wainwright employees are also part of their mission to serve their so called community. How typical to announce a merger right before a holiday weekend, hoping that it would be old news by Tuesday. The employees have been purposely kept in the dark and are not even being offered the opportunity to work at Eastern Bank or placement assistance. Customers went to Wainwrihght because of the excellent treatment by the employess. Socially conscious my ass, what a bunch of fraudulent propaganda. These two rat bastards should be ashamed of themselves. Enjoy your legacy counting the sale proceeds blood money while many of your employees look to a dark future. Polish those awards that you really never deserved because you are no different than those pukes on Wall Street. May God forgive you because I certainly will not.

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