At Marlborough Savings Bank loyalty goes both ways


By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor?

(l to r) Jan and Ralph Belmore meet with Rick Bennett, president and CEO of Marlborough Savings Bank. photo/submitted.
(l to r) Jan and Ralph Belmore meet with Rick Bennett, president and CEO of Marlborough Savings Bank. photo/submitted.

Marlborough – Over the past few years, many banking institutions have generated negative press, much of it because of business practices which too often favored officers or major stockholders, instead of the customers themselves. But as a mutual savings bank, the Marlborough Savings Bank believes that stakeholders, ie: customers, should come first. As such, the bank has established an innovative Loyalty Banking program, which rewards customers for their continued business with a number of attractive benefits such as no-fee services and bonus increases to CDs.

“We know how many choices customers have,” said Ellen Dorian, the bank's executive vice president of retail banking. “We try to do business a little bit differently here. We value our customers and want to reward them for choosing us as their primary bank.”

The Loyalty Banking program has been in existence since 2012 and has been very favorably received by MSB's customers, Dorian said. A few other banks have similar type programs but what makes MSB different is that it is not just based on savings and checking balances – loans are also integrated into the overall plan. The basic premise is the more deposits and loans a customer has with the bank, the more benefits they receive.

“Not everyone has a high balance bank account, but most people have a mortgage,” Dorian said. “If you have yours with us, that can help bump you up to another level.”

There are five levels: bronze, silver, gold, platinum and diamond. Customers across the board all receive things such as a free savings account, free mobile and online banking, plus free ATM transactions at MSB and SUM terminals.

For the basic bronze level, all that is required is just an active checking account to be automatically entered. For each of the other four levels, there are certain requirements that must be met, based on a combination of checking, savings, CD, Money Market Deposit Account (MMDA) and loan balances.

Silver, gold and platinum customers receive a $250 mortgage closing discount while the diamond level receives $400. Platinum and diamond level customers also receive benefits such as waiving of stop payment fees, annual IRA fees and free wires, money orders, and cashier checks.

Customers can go up levels depending on how much their balances and/or loans increase. The bank will automatically take care of moving them up to the next level. And they will also be notified if it appears they may not have enough to qualify for the level they are currently at.

“People really appreciate our Loyalty Banking program,” she said, “especially in a low rate environment.”

“We love to do a bit of gift giving along the way,” she added, “instead of the customer having to ask for things. It's another way we differentiate ourselves from other banks.”

“Customers don's have to do anything to keep track of it,” she added. “It happens automatically and if they have any questions, we'se here to help.”

That's another MSB difference, she said. Customers can call anyone at the bank and connect with them directly. No “robo” system, no gate keepers. Just pick up the phone and dial a direct line to connect with a bank official.

“Our contact information is on our website as well. We want to make it easy for our customers to find us,” Dorian said.

Established in 1860, the bank now has six branches, including its headquarters located in the heart of downtown Marlborough, at 81 Granger Boulevard. MSB is also committed to being a supportive community partner as well, Dorian said. Schools, local teams and nonprofit community groups such as the Rotary Club have all been beneficiaries of MSB's philanthropic endeavors over its history.

“Relationships are the core of how local banks work,” she added. “And we take that very seriously here.”

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