When my family first moved to Connecticut, we signed up for accounts at People’s Bank in Bridgeport. We ended up there solely because my father, who had moved up to the state a few months before, got an account there. Going on 20 years later, the now-renamed People’s United Bank, excepting a brief, horrid flirtation with Fleet (now Bank of America) when I was in college), has been my steady,long-term relationship of a bank.
As I started to travel a bit more, I started to yearn for a bank that was more of a regional bank; People’s at that time was a Connecticut bank that had just begun to flirt with expansion in Westchester County. But in recent years, a stock offering led to an influx of cash that has yielded a number of acquisitions. Just before I went to visit my friend Amie for the first time in Maine, they had acquired Chittenden, a bank in northern New England that included a branch just two miles from Amie’s house. I began to see that People’s, like me, had begun to really grow.
A number of acquisitions led them to have branches all the way down to Long Island, but with my working in New York City, it once again began to become a bit elusive. They acquired a bank last year that had a sole location in the city, but a good distance from me. Still, I wasn’t really quite ready to switch away, even if TD Bank, which also has seven-day banking, has a location right in my office building, and within walking distance of my apartment. Twenty years of loyalty and a solid relationship are hard to ignore.
So I was incredibly happy to see an ad on the train this week advertising a new branch in midtown Manhattan, which they originally announced was in the works last year. Combined with their working feverishly to open more branches in Boston and the surrounding area, and People’s has evolved yet again with me. It also makes sense; a lot of people in Connecticut work and/or travel to New York and Boston, so it makes sense to cover as much of that areas as can be managed.
Between their ties to the also-ubiquitous Stop & Shop, their seven-day banking and their local ties (Bridgeport born and raised), I’m rooting for the bank’s future growth and success. I just hope they can get a branch closer to me soon.