By Josh Resnek
At a Special Meeting of it depositors held at the bank’s main office on May 5, more than 92% of the Everett Bank’s depositors in attendance voted to allow the bank to convert from its charter as a mutual, co-operative bank, to a publicly traded, shareholder bank.
With approximately $700 million in assets, thousands of happy depositors, mortgage customers and small business relationships, commensurate with commercial and real estate growth in the city, the Everett Cooperative Bank, Everett Bank, is going public after 125 years of steady, solid growth.
The show of support from the depositors indicates that there is a high level of confidence that the leadership of the bank is steering the bank in positive direction. Bank management and the Bank’s Board of Directors see this overwhelming vote as an affirmation, by its customers, that this action will serve to strengthen an already strong community Bank.
“I am very pleased and the bank’s Board of Directors are pleased as well at this showing of support by our depositors for the bank’s strategic direction” said bank President Attorney Richard O’Neil.
O’Neil said the vote is a critical step in a long, regulatory complex, process which involves extensive oversight by the Security and Exchange Commission, the Office of the Massachusetts Banking Commissioner, Federal Reserve Bank and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Pending final regulatory approval and with the approval by it’s depositors, the Plan of Conversion will enable the Bank to raise millions of dollars of additional capital with the sale of the stock in the newly formed company. The capital raised will enable Everett Bank to continue to grow in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
The Leader Herald has spoken with many Everett depositors planning to buy the stock, which will be issued at $10 to those who purchase the shares.
Depositors can buy as many as 35,000 shares or as few as 5 shares, according to the draft prospectus on the SEC website. Purchases from households with multiple accounts, including joint account holders, cannot exceed 50,000 shares.
ECB Bankcorp shares will be traded on the NASDAQ.
ECB Bancorp will also be establishing and funding a charitable foundation to be named, Everett Co-operative Bank Charitable Foundation, Inc. The Board of Directors considered the establishment and funding of the charitable foundation to be an essential driver in this strategic initiative by the Bank.
With this action, the bank is positioning itself to continue to have an important role in the future economic development of the city and the surrounding communities, as well as to provide a rock solid depository for those who use the bank as well as for those who will own its stock.
The Board of Directors believes the stock conversion plan will provide access to additional resources to expand the products and services the bank offers to its customers and will enable the bank to take advantage of business opportunities that may not otherwise be available, while at the same time remaining an independent community bank.