Bank Profile | By Ian B. Murphy
Fresh off an acquisition, a rebranding and a new corporate headquarters, PCSB Bank will look to continue its growth by converting from a mutual bank to a public company and offering at least 20.1 million shares of stock for sale.
Bank executives received the official go-ahead for the bank’s conversion from regulators in February, and the stock went on sale on Feb. 21. PCSB Bank had consolidated total assets of $1.24 billion, total deposits of $1.11 billion and total equity of $112.8 million, as of year-end 2016.
“These last five years we’ve made a huge effort – pretty much a total makeover of the bank – and have put ourselves in the position that we believe we could become the leading community bank in the marketplace,” said Joseph Roberto, chairman, president and CEO of PCSB Bank. “We think that there is a void in our market for a true community bank that can service the footprint where our franchise sits, and our main competition is the money center banks and the regional banks. So, I think, with the extra capital, we can compete with those regional banks in that marketplace. We would have the size to do it, and we’d have the branch network to do it.”
PCSB Bank acquired CMS Bank in April 2015, which at the time had approximately $250 million in assets and a significant presence in Westchester County.
Since that acquisition, PCSB Bank has rebranded itself (it was formerly Putnam County Savings Bank), moved its corporate headquarters to a central location in Yorktown Heights, and relocated its branch in Pawling, its 16th in total. Roberto said those moves, along with the ability to raise capital with a public offering, have put the bank in a fantastic position to be the premier community bank in the Lower Hudson Valley.
“It’s all about thinking that you could do a better job than the money center banks and the regional banks in really understanding what the community is all about, and what the community needs as far as a banking institution,” Roberto said.
While continued growth is the bank’s biggest goal, Vice President and Director of Marketing Steve Elser said it’s paramount that PCSB Bank stay true to its core values. The bank was founded in 1871 and has flourished by maintaining a connection to residents and small businesses in the communities it serves.
“It really comes down to the PCSB brand, and what the brand stands for has not changed,” Elser said. “It was created as a local community bank to serve local businesses, local families, and those core values remain in effect today. I think that’s the key as we expand and we continue to try and serve a larger footprint; staying true to those core values is really what this is all about.”
Both Roberto and Elser said keeping the character of the bank the same while converting from a mutual bank to a publicly traded company won’t be a challenge; the commitment to the customer permeates the entire bank, from the executive level on down.
“The leadership of the bank is so steadfastly committed to the original charter,” Elser said. “Everybody in the bank understands that, so when they go to work every day, they know what their task is. They know what the brand stands for, and they know that their job is to stick to that as closely as possible.”
With a lot of changes and growth coming for the bank in a short period – the acquisition of CMS Bank, the rebranding, moving of the headquarters and now the conversion – Roberto said PCSB Bank has maintained its focus on doing what’s best for its employees and customers. The relocation of the company’s headquarters was a prime example; the Yorktown Heights location is almost in the exact geographical center of PCSB Bank’s footprint, giving employees an easier time with commuting.
“We were headquartered in Putnam County, New York, and [after the acquisition of CMS Bank] we are now headquartered in Westchester, really on the border of Putnam and Westchester,” Roberto said. “I think people understood that even though we moved our headquarters, we still had the same commitment to our community. It was difficult to operate as a group when [the staff was] spread out in different locations, and certainly being able to get everybody under one roof has allowed us to operate more efficiently. It wasn’t just moving the headquarters, we also re-branded the bank with a new name and a new logo at the same time, and I think people will attest that the whole process went very well.”■