By John Lynds
The Massachusetts Division of Banks (MDB) signed off on East Boston Savings Bank’s plan to put the local bank on wheels.
The MDB’s decision approved EBSB’s notice to establish a mobile branch office and wrote there was no objection to the plan in its decision.
EBSB Chairman and CEO Richard Gavegnano plans to launch this mobile branch on Wednesday, June 1 at 1 p.m. during a ceremony at the bank’s headquarters in Peabody.
Gavegnano got the idea to put EBSB on wheels while sitting in traffic in New York City and witnessed throngs on people lined up to get food at food trucks near a park in freezing weather. Gavegnano thought to himself, “If people are willing to stand in line in freezing weather at a food truck, why not an East Boston Savings Bank on wheels”.
“The basics of banking is human interaction and personal relationships,” said Gavegnano. “That sometimes gets lost these days as we move further and further into electronic banking, online banking and mobile app banking.”
EBSB’s mobile bank truck will include a full staff of tellers, loan officers and of course a driver and will feature a teller window, ATM, and space for two desks, cameras and an alarm system for security.
Gavegnano said he envisions the ‘bank of wheels’ to be out at various locations throughout the area.
“We already got commitments from high schools, retirement and assisted living facilities and manufacturing facilities,” said Gavegnano. “This would allow us to increase our visibility while exposing customers and future customers to the products and services we provide.”
Gavegnano said EBSB, which went public in 2014, has always been a big bank with a ‘community bank’ mentality.
“Through our committed partners the mobile bank can serve as an educational tool for high schoolers looking to learn how to save money, invest money and budget for things like car loans,” said Gavegnano. “We also want to be at places like retirement homes where some of our customers are unable to get out and down to a branch to do their banking.”
Gavegnano said he plans to unveil the mobile bank at car shows, parades and special events in Eastie and throughout neighborhoods EBSB serves this summer.
According to Gavegnano Indiana-based Mobile Facilities is manufacturing the vehicle for EBSB and will cost between $120,000 to $220,000 depending on the size, which run from 22 ft to 40 ft.